Tuesday, August 4, 2020

“It must now be said that the cuts to hospital posts and beds are stopped,” asks Mathieu Klein.

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Mathieu Klein, president of the departmental council of Meurthe-et-Moselle, in 2016. – JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP

  • Saturday, the president (PS) of the departmental council of Meurthe-et-Moselle, Mathieu Klein, wrote an open letter to Emmanuel Macron, asking him to reconsider the abolition of posts and beds planned in the coming years at the hospital from Nancy.
  • The day before, the director of the Grand Est Regional Health Agency had mentioned the continuation of the reform plan.
  • Mathieu Klein calls on Emmanuel Macron to respect his “massive investment” commitments for hospitals.

In a territory tested by the Covid-19 epidemic, the relative decline in the progression of the epidemic should not make us forget “vigilance”, warns the president of the departmental council of Meurthe-et-Moselle, Mathieu Klein . AT 20 minutes, the elected socialist also explains why he sent an open letter to
President of the Republic on the future of Nancy hospital, and more broadly, of the French system of “collective solidarity”.

There are encouraging signs on the situation in Meurthe-et-Moselle and in the Grand-Est. Can we already say that the hard part is over?

It’s far too early to say that. I don’t want the idea that we are reaching the end of the peak or that the worst is behind us to spread, it would be the worst of the services to be rendered, collectively. We must remain vigilant, mobilized, attentive and careful because we are still at the heart of an epidemic which is very violent. And even if the spring atmosphere gives the ants in the legs, you have to redouble your efforts, be careful and respect the barrier measures and containment as much as possible. If signs of hope exist, they should not be ruined by behaviors that could inflame the epidemic.

You asked Emmanuel Macron to put an end to “the closing of hospital beds”. Is this a lesson to be learned from this Covid-19 crisis?

This crisis reminds us that health and the organization of the public health and care system in France are among the most precious goods. We are fortunate to live in a country that allows everyone, through everyone’s efforts, to be supported according to their needs. It is obvious that in usual times goes almost unnoticed. In a moment of crisis, we perceive every minute how it is a founding element of the republican pact and of the social bond between the citizens. Emmanuel Macron said it himself in Mulhouse on March 15, the public hospital must be the subject of massive investments. That’s what makes the point about
 Grand-Est and Nancy hospital in total lag.

Other local elected officials, such as the mayor of Nancy, also expressed their disagreement …

On the form, we all agree that these words are incomprehensible. Basically, as early as July 2019, when the investment plan for the CHRU was validated, I said that the effort to cut 600 jobs and 174 closed beds was difficult to sustain. What was not sustainable before Covid-19 becomes unsustainable after Covid-19.

Sunday, the Minister of Health said that “all plans for reorganization were obviously suspended”. Are you reassured?

It’s a first step. We must go further, and say that the layoffs and bed closings are stopped.

You are asking for more resources for health, for the support of the elderly. With the economic situation, couldn’t we tell you that it will be even more difficult for the State to finance these policies?

These days, I haven’t met many people who have made such comments … The question of an aging population is a reality, and rather a chance for our country to live longer, and in good health. Like health, it is part of the French social landscape. We must take into account the aging of the population and create a fifth risk for collective solidarity: that of loss of autonomy, with a fifth branch for Social Security. There must be a share of the loss of autonomy that is covered by collective solidarity and national solidarity, as for health. The current system is unsuitable for the growing number of people who need this collective solidarity at the end of their life. Aging is a civilization challenge that we have to face together. The Covid-19 crisis only highlights more clearly the unbearable inequalities that are those of aging in France.

Does national and international solidarity, in particular with patient transfers, remain necessary?

National solidarity and
is to be welcomed. I believe it should be used whenever necessary, and also make full use of the resources we have. Resources, that is, the beds available, especially for Covid patients, whether in intensive care or medicine. In our territories, and then whenever it is necessary, to appeal to national and European solidarity. You have to do it in that order.

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