Emmanuel Macron unveils new plan to stop 'endless crisis' in French healthcare
Emmanuel Macron has unveiled a new plan to halt the "endless crisis" in France's national healthcare system, including overhauling working ours for hospital staff in the next six months, reforming healthcare funding and improving payments for doctors on call.
During a meeting with healthcare workers at the Centre Hospitalier Sud Francilien just outside Paris, Macron acknowledged "the personal and collective exhaustion, this feeling of loss of meaning that has sometimes set in, the feeling that we are moving from one crisis to the next".
Repeating that he wanted to "gain time for carers" amid a chronic shortage of doctors, the president called for "radical decision" to fix the problem.
Macron promised to reorganise hospital work by 1 June to staunch the flow of staff leaving the healthcare profession, and to make working in the sector a more attractive option.
"We must work together on a better organisation of working time", he said, criticising the "hyper-rigidity" in the application of the 35-hour working week and a system that "only works with overtime".
He also announced that the much-criticised fee-for-service system in hospitals would be "phased out" in the next social security budget, in favour of funding based on "public health objectives.",
In the midst of a strike by GPs over an increase in the price of consultations, President Macron promised more money for doctors when they provide permanent care or take on new patients, so that people in France can easily find a doctor on duty.
He also promised to speed up the recruitment of medical assistants, increasing their numbers from 4,000 currently to 10,000 by the end of 2023.
He called the medical assistants scheme a "real success" of his previous healthcare plan, as it "frees up time" for primary carers.
All patients suffering from a chronic disease and who do not currently have a GP will be offered one "before the end of the year", Emmanuel Macron announced, mentioning saying this would benefit an estimated "600,000 patients."