Patients and caregivers sue the state for culpable deficiency


Nearly four months after summoning the government to act via the filing of a preliminary request for compensation, four patient associations (Aid for young diabetics, Children’s Liver Diseases Association, Laurette-Fugain Association, National Coordination of Hospital Defense Committees and local maternities) as well as the Collectif Inter-Hôpitaux and the Collectif Inter-Urgences are suing the State before the administrative court for “culpable failure”. “No response has been provided by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health”, explain the plaintiffs in a press release published on Thursday. Hence this legal action directly challenging the responsibility of successive governments in terms of financing the health system. Based on four injunctions, the request formulated by these associations and collectives aims mainly to obtain the establishment of sufficient patient-to-caregiver ratios with regard to international studies on the subject, the definition of critical thresholds adjusted to the activities of establishments, hiring massive numbers of nurses, caregivers and all professionals involved in care, as well as the establishment of an alert mechanism when the critical thresholds mentioned above are reached.

“In fifteen years, the number of patients with type 1 diabetes has doubled, the number of diabetology caregivers should also have doubled, it is far from having been the case! » points out for example Marc de Kerdanet, president of the association Aid to the young diabetics. “We are very clearly witnessing a collapse of the hospital system which has terrible consequences for patients”insists the doctor in pediatric diabetes. “We can’t give a damn about the number of patients per carer, it’s a bit like taking off a plane without a pilot and a co-pilot! » launches Anne Gervais, representative of the Collectif Inter-Hôpitaux. For the hospital practitioner, the origin of these evils is to be found in the introduction of an accounting logic for hospital care with the introduction of activity-based pricing in 2007 and the setting of a national health insurance expenditure target (Ondam), voted each year since 1997. « As soon as we apply budgetary control without taking needs into account, we are exposed to this kind of situation », does she point

Objective: to go beyond the procedures launched so far

“All the sick must be treated. However, today, we are triaging patients and leukemia children are being left to die,” alert Stéphanie Fugain, president of the Laurette-Fugain Association, who denounces in particular the inability of French hospitals to take care of patients from the Maghreb for whom health partnership agreements nevertheless exist. “Today, we decided to punch very hard: it will take something other than dusting! » she warns. Allusion in particular to the plan of 400 million euros released in recent days by the government following the alert triggered by caregivers and patients in hospital pediatric services in the midst of asphyxiation in the face of the influx of bronchiolitis this fall (read our edition of October 31). “When we see that the government gives billions of euros to companies that make a profit, we cannot be satisfied with a few million for health when it should be a compulsory and priority cause! » indignantly the head of the association. « That’s not how we’re going to solve a structural problem »abounds Marc de Kerdanet. « If we met the needs by respecting a ratio of one nurse for 8 patients, we would have to recruit 100,000 professionals, which would cost 5 billion euros »recalls Anne Gervais.

“The idea of ​​this complaint is to go beyond the procedures that have been launched so far because it is clear that, locally, even when the administrative court finds the regional health agencies wrong (ARS ) in the case of a service closure – as for the Creil maternity hospital – this is not followed by effect”, underlines Rosine Leverrier, member of the office of the National Coordination of the Defense Committees of the hospitals and the maternities of proximity. “This legal approach makes it possible to say that it is not the patients who would go to the emergency room recklessly, nor the caregivers who would not do their job well, but many political decisions that lead us to this situation”, says the activist. A long-term initiative in any case: it could take six months to two years before a hearing takes place.


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