France plans to strengthen its health sector

The French government began consultations with hospital staff and unions about a healthcare reform on Monday. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic nursing staff were demonstrating for better working conditions and hospital equipment. What should the government's priorities be in the reform?

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Le Monde (FR) /

Macron must have the courage to increase pay

The central element of a healthcare reform must be better pay for nursing staff, Le Monde stresses:

“In the OECD ranking, France is among the countries where nurses are worst paid. ... Emmanuel Macron must accept that the first step in saving hospitals must be a significant improvement in salaries and career opportunities. People are so angry that he can't afford to slip up here. Such a decision is not without risk, because it will affect the salary structure of public hospital services and could prompt demands from across the public sector. But at a time when the country is going through a recession that could plunge the most vulnerable private sector workers into unemployment, our bureaucrats must remember that they have job security, which is the best protection in times of crisis.”

Libération (FR) /

Healthcare should not be a business

Last Saturday, Libération published an appeal addressed to Macron by caregivers demanding extensive reform. Now the newspaper praises the signatories for caring about more than just money:

“Reducing the reform of our healthcare system to a question of finances would be a mistake. Those who signed the manifesto have recognised this. ... They raise questions as diverse as territorial inequalities in access to care, coordination between hospitals and clinics, prevention policies, the place of psychiatry, the training of doctors, and the balance of power between the administration and doctors in hospital management. ... From the answers provided to each of these questions a global philosophy for our healthcare system will emerge, which for years has suffered from excessive focus on profitability and competitiveness.”