Report on nursing homes shocks France
A new publication dealing with conditions in retirement homes has made waves in France. In his book Les Fossoyeurs (The Gravediggers), journalist Victor Castanet reveals that the market-leading Orpea Group cuts corners on hygienic and medical care for residents at its facilities to increase profitability. The national press calls for action.
Make elderly care a campaign issue!
Politicians must finally address the issue of demand for long-term care comprehensively, urges Le Monde:
“There are two options. Either a nationalisation of the facilities which reduces the financial burden on families and at the same time guarantees better services. Politically, this solution is limited by the fact that it requires an increase in social contributions. Or we continue to entrust the task to a lucrative private sector that is more expensive than state institutions but incapable of guaranteeing better services and is partly financed by public funds that are poorly controlled. It's not too late for the issue of elderly care to become part of the presidential campaign.”
Authorities have disempowered themselves
The state is partly to blame for the undignified conditions in nursing homes, Mediapart criticises:
“Although Victor Castanet's book is striking for the scope of its investigation and the number and importance of the sources interviewed, mistreatment and cost pressures in some profitmaking institutions are open secrets to which the health authorities turn a blind eye. And with good reason: after having abandoned a large part of care to the private sector, the state no longer has the power to bang on the table when abuses are exposed.”