In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, caregivers must also ward off bad blows. Last week, doctors and users signed a forum in the world denouncing the persistence of the Grand Paris-Nord hospital-university campus project in Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis). Merger of Bichat establishments (18e arrondissement of Paris) and Beaujon in Clichy (Hauts-de-Seine), as well as two university units, the most important project of the Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) for twenty years should emerge from the land of here in 2028.
If the construction of such a structure for an amount of 1.2 billion euros could be good news for Seine-Saint-Denis, which is under-endowed in terms of health care offer, the conditions for its realization, with 30% of beds removed, arouse anger. “We are assured that we can transform single rooms into doubles if necessary. OK, but how are they going to find the caregivers? By magic ? 600 staff would also fall by the wayside ”, underlines Hakim Bécheur, head of the hepato-gastroenterology service in Bichat and member of the Inter-hospital Collective (CIH).
To ease tensions, 100 beds were added in early November. But more than 300 are still missing in this sprawling future hospital. The statements of the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, assuring on November 18 that it was necessary “Totally get out of the dogma of reducing beds”, have, it seems, not trickled down to Seine-Saint-Denis.
As if nothing had happened, in October, commissions began to assess the various architectural projects put on the table. For caregivers still in the intensive fight against the pandemic, the pill is hard to swallow. Olivier Milleron, cardiologist in Bichat and member of the CIH, cuts to pieces the arguments justifying this reduction in capacity: “They estimate that the length of stay will drop by 30%, from six to four days, which is not based on anything scientific. They are also counting on a bed occupancy rate of 95%, whereas we know that above 85% we cannot accommodate unscheduled patients. We must already transfer 30% of patients from Bichat and 50% from Beaujon to other establishments because of the lack of beds. This project is completely disconnected from reality. We are asking for a study on health needs in Seine-Saint-Denis to get out of ideological reasoning. “ The government may have removed the famous Copermo (Interministerial Committee for the performance and modernization of the hospital care supply) to maneuver in the reductions in hospital capacity, since replaced by a National Council for investment in health, the logic has not budged an iota.
Parody of public consultation
In this department which is sorely lacking in doctors and which recorded an excess mortality of 134% between March and April 2020 with the virus, the incomprehension is total. “We must keep a certain number of beds for serious patients, asserts Simon Chiaroni, secretary of the CGT in Bichat. We saw what happened in the intensive care units with the Covid. Grand Paris-Nord will not meet the needs of patients. “ Observation shared by Hakim Bécheur: “Rather, we need 300 more beds. We’re going to end up with a bottleneck. The rise of the outpatient clinic is a mirage. People will be sent home without knowing if their living conditions are acceptable. “
As for the public consultation, resumed last November, many of it looks like a parody. Two guarantors of the National Commission for Public Debate had previously thrown in the towel. As explained by Denis Vemclefs, opposition municipal councilor in the group on the left (pcf and Génération.s) in Saint-Ouen and member of the collective Pas ça, pas là, pas comme ça: “They had judged that the process was a little biased, because only the word of the AP-HP counted. Whatever our arguments, they are never heard. In 2019, a public survey of residents showed that 91% of them rejected the project. “ After battling, opponents can present an alternative project at a meeting on January 19. But the deadlines are tight. “We were warned at the end of December for a deposit on January 12, he laments. In a sector where the population will continue to grow, we are for the construction of a human-sized hospital, but also for the renovation of Bichat and Beaujon. The AP-HP ensures that this work is impossible, we want a second opinion. “
In this highly contested issue, elected officials are also questioning the future location of this liner. Instead of the PSA plant in Saint-Ouen and a Conforama store, car traffic, already difficult in the city center, could become impractical. “It is incredible that the Public Assistance continues in this direction while everyone has seen the inability of the hospital to reconcile an epidemic crisis and normal monitoring of the population, annoys Éric Coquerel, FI deputy for the constituency. Citizens do not yet understand what is going to happen. It is important that the fight starts again. It is not too late to decide on a moratorium on this project. ” While the promises of a paradigm shift on health made by Emmanuel Macron are still in everyone’s mind, users, caregivers and leftist politicians demand another hospital for tomorrow.