• France's news in English

Surgeons launch strike over fee accord

Malcolm Curtis · 12 Nov 2012, 11:37

Published: 12 Nov 2012 11:37 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The doctors accuse the government of stigmatizing them and object to an accord aimed at reining in excessive fees.

A total of 30 unions and professional organizations have called for a strike in a sector where such action is not common, the French-language AFP news agency reported.

The groups are making various demands.

Surgical procedures are being cancelled and in cases of emergencies patients are being directed to hospitals.

“Hospitals will be completely the same for dealing with the sick,” Health Minister Marisol Touraine insisted.

The 37 public assistance hospitals of Paris (AP-HP) issued a statement saying certain services would be cancelled, “notably surgical interventions”, but emergency operations are assured.

The strike affects 70 percent of private clinics, around 700 facilities, according to the federation of private hospitals (FHP).

At issue is an agreement limiting doctors’ fees signed by three major doctors’ unions, representing generalists and specialists, under pressure from Touraine, the health minister.

“We must at all costs change this accord because it does not take into account the specific nature of surgery and anesthesia,” Philippe Cuq, president of the union of surgeons told Europe 1.

Doctors in these fields receive “supplements”, which Cuq said are different from excessive fees.

If the accord is not changed “in the next three years the system will stop the practice of private surgeons,” he said.

Touraine defended what she called a “good agreement” while saying that her door remained open for dialogue.

She also maintained the government has no intention of restricting the freedom of doctors to practice where they want.

One union, representing hospital anesthetists, said it would not follow the strike, maintaining that would hurt public service for the “demands of the private sector".

Malcolm Curtis (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available