Ihe catastrophic state of our health system is known and the intervention of the President of the Republic on January 6 confirmed that all the previous plans had not been enough to provide adequate solutions. But, again, no measure is proposed to resolve one of the essential causes of the crisis, the shortage of doctors in France. It is indeed, with the “great resignation” of nursing staff, the second explanation for the collapse of our healthcare system.
There is a shortage of doctors almost everywhere in the country: more than 95% of the territories of Ile-de-France are considered to be under-endowed with generalists, according to data from the regional health agency (ARS); some specialties are completely absent from many departments; vacancies in hospitals number in the thousands; and there is not a sector that is not suffering (school health, occupational medicine, maternal and child protection, etc.).
In the immediate future, “Doctor Macron” and his minister will amplify palliative care: add medical assistants, optimize working time, delegate tasks to other professions themselves in short supply, facilitate the arrival of foreign doctors which are already very numerous in our hospitals – at the risk of further impoverishing their countries of origin – and developing telemedicine which many consider to be cheap care.
But nothing is done to really treat the origin of the disease, that is to say the insufficient number of doctors trained by our universities. The recurring rhetoric claiming that removing the numerus clausus will solve everything in ten years is wishful thinking at best and dishonest diversion at worst. The promotions of students from the reform of the first year of medical studies, which remains very selective, have increased by barely 15% compared to the previous ones, which leaves thousands of brilliant and motivated candidates on the tile.
The same mistakes
Projections show that, in ten years, we will return to numbers of doctors equivalent to what they were in the 2000s. A time when we already knew medical deserts. And, above all, health needs are only growing from year to year: the population is growing and aging, with more chronic diseases requiring long treatment.
At the same time, the transformations of society affect doctors as much as other professions: their working hours remain long but have clearly decreased, and they aspire to more often salaried functions with supervised exercise times.
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