the health authorities called upon “to anticipate without delay” the tensions and reinforcements for the hospitals in the Ile-de-France region

Security and transport are two of the major challenges to be met for hosting the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games (JOP). But another subject promises to be potentially critical: the capacity of the Ile-de-France hospital system to cope with the influx spectators and visitors in the middle of summer (the Olympic Games will take place from July 26 to August 11), a period during which hospitals usually experience some staffing tensions.

On this point, without being alarmist, the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee does not at the same time mask a certain « prudence » regarding the discourse and forecasts of the health authorities and a relative impatience to see the implementation of scenarios anticipating the most critical situations.

“All hypotheses must be seriously anticipated and planned so as not to generate, at the last minute, excessive strain on the staff of hospitals in the region”warns MP Christine Le Nabour (Renaissance) in her report for opinion on the bill “relating to the JOP and laying down various other provisions”, published Friday, March 17. This bill will be examined in public session by the deputies from Monday, March 20.

Emphasizing that the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP‑HP) and the regional health agency (ARS) of Île-de-France, which envisage 15 million visitors for the Games in Paris, anticipate “attendance which does not represent a major change compared to a normal summer”, Mme Le Nabour “recommends to be careful” about these estimates “rather reassuring” et “to anticipate less favorable hypotheses”.

She recalls that even a low scenario, that of an additional burden on the healthcare system equivalent to that generated by “a mild winter” will result in “significant tension” in the hospital “because of the leave period and recruitment difficulties, which tend to increase”. At this stage, the ARS of Île-de-France considers that “nine hospitals” will be “potentially very impacted” by the Games, notes the MP, who calls “to anticipate without delay” the possible tensions and the reinforcements which could be necessary.

Possible recourse to “overtime and the shift of summer holidays”

“The danger of a conjunction between the Games and other events with a major health impact – resurgence of covid‑19, heat wave, attack… – must be seriously considered”, advance Mme Le Nabour, while also drawing attention to the effects that the Paris 2024 call for volunteers could have on health professionals and doctors to secure the tests, beyond the creation of a health center in within the athletes’ village. “This would represent around 3,000 volunteers per day at the peak of the JOP, including around 150 emergency doctors in Île-de-France and around 190 others throughout France”, details the rapporteur of the Committee on Social Affairs

“A joint work would have been initiated” by the ARS of Île-de-France, the general direction of the offer of care and Paris 2024 in order to define a solution “meeting the needs of the Games without hampering the operation of emergencies in the Ile-de-France”, underline Mme The Nabour. However, it emphasizes the need “to anticipate the reinforcement options available” for Ile-de-France hospitals.

In the case of tension “located to a few establishments”, reinforcements could come from other establishments in the region “and we could resort to overtime and the staggering of summer holidays”, she believes. But “if the tension was more general in the Ile-de-France hospitals”, the member considers that it would then be necessary to seek reinforcements outside the region and to resort “to students at the end of their course and to other options still”.

These different scenarios should have been studied by the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs, to which a report has been commissioned. This one has ” recently ” been presented to the Minister of Health, explains The Nabour. But the draftsman of the Olympic bill “has not been able, to date, to have knowledge of its conclusions”.

An operating cost of 3.8 million euros for the health center within the athletes’ village

For the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (JOP), a temporary health center will be operational in the heart of the Olympic Village, which will accommodate more than 15,000 athletes and members of the delegations, in order to take care of emergencies and first aid.

It should be installed in the premises of the Dahnier School, a podiatry pedicure training institute in Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine. The acquisition and fitting out of the premises will be financed by Paris 2024. “The final commitment letter has not yet been signed”specifies the deputy (Renaissance) Christine Le Nabour in her report for opinion on the bill relating to the JOP.

It is up to the AP-HP to create and manage this center. It will detach a team for this purpose: an administrative director, a medical director, a health executive, as well as about fifteen referents per discipline exercised. The center will operate with 200 French volunteers and 30 international volunteers, according to Paris 2024.

The operating cost (remuneration of staff, cost of supplies, equipment, drugs) will be invoiced by the AP-HP in Paris 2024, which will pay “to the nearest euro direct and indirect expenses”. An agreement is being finalized. This cost is estimated “to date at 3.8 million euros”, according to Ms. Le Nabour, who specifies that the agreement does not relate to the compensation, for the AP‑HP, of the possible support of the athletes and supervisors within the hospitals. These costs will be covered by private insurance, contracted by Paris 2024, up to at least 200,000 euros, and it is the State which will bear the expenses exceeding the amount of this cover.

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