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Beckham ‘to hand salary’ to children’s hospital

Paris Saint-Germain's David Beckham will donate around half a million euros to a children's hospital in Paris, French media reported on Tuesday. It comes after he pledged to donate his salary to good causes, when he joined the club in January.

Beckham 'to hand salary' to children's hospital
Photo: AFP

Wealthy footballer David Beckham will hand over part of of his whopping PSG salary to a children's hospital in Paris, French daily Le Parisien claimed on Tuesday.

The Necker hospital in the 15th arrondissement of the French capital, which specializes in rare diseases is set to benefit to the tune of around €500,000, Le Parisien claimed.

When Beckham joined the mega-wealthy Qatari-owned club in January, he put charities across France on alert by promising to donate his entire wages to good causes.

The club was inundated with requests from associations and organizations across the country, including a penniless nursery in Nancy, that will close without financial aid.

Since then, however, there has been little news about which charities are to benefit from Beckham’s reported €800,000 monthly wages.

The donation to the hospital, which already has strong links with PSG, will be carried out through the club's charitable foundation, whose president is Nasser al Khelaifa, the club's Qatari chief.

According to Le Parisien, another as yet unnamed children's charity in France is also set to benefit from a major slice of Beckham's salary.

Following Beckham's charity pledge, suspicions were raised in the French media that the club were simply making the donations in a bid to avoid paying tax on the player's wages. PSG have so far refused to comment on these claims.

Details have not yet been released.

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GENEVA

Is Switzerland ‘pilfering’ health workers from France during pandemic?

Officials in the Haute-Savoie area of France have accused private Swiss health clinics of poaching essential healthcare workers.

Is Switzerland 'pilfering' health workers from France during pandemic?
Health care workers from France prefer to work on the Swiss side of the border. Photo by AFP

The headline in Switzerland's Le Temps newspaper reads: “Geneva is pilfering our nurses”.

It comes from an interview with a French MP who laments how France is losing health workers to its neighbour at the height of a health crisis.

“The behaviour of some hospital administrators in Switzerland is totally unacceptable in the context of the health crisis”, Haute-Savoie’s deputy Martial Saddier said in an interview with Le Temps newspaper. 

He was referring to a practice of Swiss clinics recruiting health workers in France which French officials like Saddier says has caused a shortage of personnel in French hospitals in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Saddier denounced several private clinics in Geneva for actively recruiting nursing staff from Haute-Savoie, luring them with salaries that are about two and a half times higher than those paid in the French region.

Though the phenomenon of medical workers from Haute-Savoie ‘migrating’ to Geneva is not new — 60 percent of nursing staff at Geneva’s university hospitals (HUG) live in France — Saddier said these recruitments should not happen during the pandemic. 

“While the number of infected people may be high in Geneva, Haute-Savoie is not spared either, with rates among the highest in France. We need all our vital forces”, he said.

Olivier Teissèdre, director of Hôpital privé Pays de Savoie (HPPS) pointed out that already during the first wave of Covid-19, “350 of our caregivers were recruited in Geneva, which put us in great difficulty. Today I lost 4 percent of my staff and had to shut down a night shift”.

“Now the shortage of caregivers is crucially felt because the care of Covid-19 patients is particularly heavy”, he added.

READ MORE: IN PICTURES: Swiss flags hang over protesting French ski village 

At the start of the second wave, the HPSS set up a partnership with another Haute-Savoie medical facility, the Alpes-Léman public hospital.

“But we no longer have enough employees to maintain this partnership because there is too much movement of staff toward Switzerland”, Teissèdre said.

At the start of the pandemic, an agreement was reached with the Geneva authorities to stop recruiting medical personnel from France, but this commitment only concerns public hospitals. No such pact was made with private clinics.

Laurent Paoliello, spokesperson for Geneva’s Health Department said that while HUG, which is a public hospital, has respected the hiring freeze, the canton can’t impose similar restrictions on recruitment policies of private establishments.

“However, we consider it inappropriate to loot the region next door, especially during a pandemic”, he said.

Although the Haute-Savoie officials say that private hospitals have placed ads in a local newspaper, Le Dauphiné libéré, seeking French health care workers, Geneva’s clinics deny advertising in France.

“We only recruit through our site, or on Jobup.ch, as well as on social networks”, said Magali Dauwalder, spokesperson for the Hirslanden group of private hospitals, which manages La Colline et les Grangettes clinics in Geneva.


READ MORE: Switzerland rejects further coronavirus lockdown despite 'worrying' situation 

 

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