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Strike and demonstrations by hospital psychiatrists against the “dilapidation” of the sector

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“Crying lack” hospital beds, “regular closings” of medico-psychological centers for lack of sufficient staff: hospital psychiatrists are invited to mobilize, Tuesday, November 29, against the “dilapidation” of a public sector victim of a “abandonment” state, according to their unions.

Four organizations are calling for strikes and demonstrations, notably at 11 a.m. in Paris, in front of the Ministry of Health. Rallies are announced in other cities, in front of regional health agencies (ARS) or hospitals.

These unions denounce a “abandonment of public psychiatry” who “is characterized on a daily basis by the glaring lack of full hospitalization beds and regular closures of medico-psychological centers (CMP)”. A situation linked to the shortage of doctors and nurses, which “Today affects five out of six hospitals”according to an inter-union press release.

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“We no longer have the capacity to treat as we would like”, deplores Dr. Norbert Skurnik, president of the Inter-union for the defense of public psychiatry (Idepp). According to this psychiatrist, for lack of reception, “In Ile-de-France alone, 60,000 to 70,000 people, of whom at least 60% are mentally ill, wander outside any institution and any home”.

The specialty no longer attracts young doctors

In a context of “hardening” working conditions, the specialty no longer attracts young doctors, laments Doctor Skurnik, citing the figure of one hundred interns to be distributed in the Paris region, “where it would take 150”. To promote recruitment, this union official defends an increase in “20% to 25%” salaries of hospital psychiatrists, in the form of hardship bonuses.

Fourteen months after its presentation, the plan announced by Emmanuel Macron after the assizes of psychiatry, with the creation of 800 positions in the CMP, is considered insufficient by the profession. “It’s only a small step”underlines Doctor Rachel Bocher, president of the National Intersyndicate of Hospital Exercise Practitioners (INPH).

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Psychiatry: long-awaited meetings for a discipline in crisis

This psychiatrist also militates in favor of“a plan for the attractiveness of careers”. Organizer of a symposium “cities and mental health” – from Thursday to Saturday in Nantes – she hopes to welcome the Minister of Health, François Braun. “There is a need for the public authorities to resume social dialogue with psychiatrists”she argues.

In front of the Senate in mid-November, the minister acknowledged that “psychiatric staff work in difficult conditions”and promised that a report would be drawn ” very soon “ meetings organized in September 2021.

The World with AFP

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