Macron warns of more healthcare woes as he flags reforms

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France, like many other European countries, is facing a shortage of health care personnel, particularly in rural areas, with many overcrowded hospitals, an aging population, a large number of doctors and retiring nurses and the system reduced in bureaucracy.

“We are facing a situation that could get worse,” Macron said, citing the need to train a new generation of medical personnel in a New Year’s address to health workers, who have gone on strike in -last weeks to ask for a better job. conditions.

Meanwhile, he said, the government will increase the recruitment of medical assistants, freeing health workers to treat patients rather than doing administrative tasks.

Promising a change in the way hospitals work by June, Macron also said that his government will take steps to increase cooperation between different parts of the health system, and improve monitoring of operating hours. -work.

He said paying more money alone was not enough to make the profession more attractive, and also said his government would largely remove fee-for-service funding from hospitals.

Critics say the system has pushed hospitals into a downward spiral of pursuing a high volume of profitable care while cutting costs and care in other areas.

“The fee-for-service principle has led to a lot of dysfunction,” Macron said while speaking at the Center Hospitalier Sud Francilien (CHSF) in Corbeil-Essonnes in suburban Paris.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on already stretched medical resources.

Many hospitals this winter have had to halt planned surgeries or close emergency services at night, as a simultaneous rise in bronchiolitis and flu cases added to COVID-related hospitalizations in some areas.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Tassilo Hummel and Jean-Stephane Brosse; Editing by Ingrid Melander and John Stonestreet)

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