Why liberal doctors are once again calling for a strike on February 14

The main unions of liberal doctors are calling for a “closure of practices” and a rally in front of the Senate on February 14. They had already mobilized at the end of December.

Second date. The inter-union of liberal doctors calls once again for a strike on February 14, in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and made public in Le Figaro friday.

The practitioners, already mobilized at the end of December and the beginning of January, ask in particular “an additional financial envelope”, after the “suspension” in mid-January of their discussions with Social Security.

• Concern about the possible return of the custody obligation

New compared to December, the liberal doctors fear that call duty in the evening, on weekends and on public holidays, which are currently voluntary, will once again become compulsory for liberal doctors and caregivers.

They believe that compulsory childcare risks aggravating the problems of attractiveness and increasing, against the desired goal, the difficulties of access to care. This obligation was abolished at the dawn of the 2000s, after a mobilization of liberal doctors but has been claimed for several months by representatives of the Hospital Federation to avoid emergency room overcrowding.

• Request for a budget extension

The unions are asking Matignon for “an additional financial envelope” to avoid “a failure of the negotiations” in progress with Health Insurance.

This extension should make it possible, according to the doctors, “to achieve the objectives set by the Minister of Health”. “It is essential to give back to city medicine the means to meet the challenges”, they believe.

At the end of December, practitioners were already demanding the doubling of the basic consultation fee (from 25 to 50 euros) to create a “shock of attractiveness” towards city medicine in need of arms.

• Count Saturday morning as permanent care

The liberal doctors ask that Saturday morning be counted as permanent care. Objective: to obtain better remuneration and benefit from “two days of rest, like everyone else”, underlines MG France, the first union of general practitioners.

A prospect that the Minister of Health, François Braun, seemed to dismiss, “not sure that this is the best solution” to the difficulties of access to care.

• Rejection of a text on the “direct access” of patients to certain nurses

Doctors are worried about a bill providing for establishing “direct access” for patients to certain nurses who would be authorized to make prescriptions, but also to physiotherapists and speech therapists.

Renaissance MP Stéphanie Rist’s bill is supposed to fight against “medical deserts”.

A day of “closing of medical practices” is scheduled for February 14, as well as a rally in front of the Senate where the disputed bill will be examined in session.

Juliette Desmonceaux with AFP

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