SHARE
COPY LINK

DOCTOR

Doctors hit streets of Paris to protest reforms

Angry French doctors and health workers staged a protest march across the capital on Sunday, gathering more than 40,000 people according to organisers and 19,000 according to police.

Doctors hit streets of Paris to protest reforms
Doctors on strike in Paris. Photo: AFP
Doctors, interns, nurses and dentists have been protesting for weeks, with some staging a two-week stoppage before Christmas, to amend a controversial health bill that goes before a parliamentary committee from Tuesday.
   
An interns' association claimed 50,000 people took part in the rally while a surgeons' group put the numbers at 46,000.
   
The draft legislation notably provides for doctors to be paid in full by the state-run social security system by 2017, rather than the current system under which patients pay doctors and are then refunded by the system.
   
Medics fear the proposed change will hugely add to their paper-work, cause payment delays and open the door to administrative meddling in medical affairs.
 

(The protesters reach the Dome of the Invalides. Photo: AFP)
 
In recent weeks France has seen doctors in hospital emergency wards go on strike over working conditions and a police memo warned that hospitals are at breaking point due to a shortage of beds and poor working conditions for staff, all exacerbated by a winter flu epidemic.

"It's like Thatcher's Britain," said the unions.

Dr Eric Henry who led Sunday’s march told The Local that France’s health service will no longer be the envy of the world if the reforms pass.

“This is a battle to save the French model. When we look at other countries we are always proud to be French because we know at the end of the day we will receive good health care here,” said Henry.

"This is the country where everyone around the world would like to receive treatment."

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

STRIKES

French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.

SHOW COMMENTS