Health workers demonstrated Tuesday in France to demand more employment and better compensation in public hospitals. Decades of cost cutbacks left medics buried when the COVID-19 epidemic came and are forcing emergency departments to curtail services.
Nine organizations and collectives planned a day of protest, including a demonstration outside the Health Ministry in Paris and in dozens of other towns and cities, to raise the public’s attention to staff shortages.
President Macron had also ordered an assessment of the public hospital system by July 1. Protesters seek to push the French government ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
“We need an emergency plan for public hospitals with enormous employment… Also, a raise. We’re Europe’s lowest-paid “Nathalie Marchand, a hospital employee in Paris, claimed this.
Hundreds of health professionals protested outside the Health Ministry.
In Cherbourg, where Macron announced his “flash mission” to improve emergency services, protests were staged.
“How else could Emmanuel Macron request an immediate review when shortfalls were so long?” said a clinical assistant.
Ouchem wants to rehire 15,000 health workers who lost their jobs for rejecting COVID-19 vaccinations, stating it will speed up the process of educating new hospital personnel.
Macron’s administration gave some hospital staff pay raises and additional hardware last year, but doctors believe the issues go deeper. Years of expense cutbacks left France’s public healthcare system understaffed and unprepared for the outbreak. Some medics resigned because of poor morale. Others are still suffering after handling COVID-19 waves.
More than 100 emergency facilities have curtailed services or intend to due to personnel shortages, according to Samu-Urgences de France.
Despite the turmoil, Paris’s rally drew few people. Ouchem encouraged health professionals and others to organise. Anyone might be hospitalised tomorrow.
“Healthcare workers have kept hospitals afloat for two years,” he said.