Reading 2 mins.
in collaboration with
Christophe Prudhomme (emergency physician)
While the United Kingdom is experiencing a major social crisis, several doctors’ organizations are warning of excess mortality in emergency services, due to a lack of adequate patient care. What is the situation in France where the health system crisis continues?
Austerity crisis, epidemics… The National Health Service is experiencing a crisis that has lasted for several years. The situation is such that an organization representing emergency physicians has stepped up.
“Between 300 and 500 deaths per week”
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has therefore estimated that due to the current situation in the English hospital, “between 300 and 500 patients die each week due to shortcomings in emergency care, including long waits“which last on average twelve hours.
“There seems to be almost a battle of machismo and denial going on.”
Dr Ian Higginson, VP of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, asks NHS and political leaders if there’s “an acceptable number” of patients dying as a result of delays and crisis in the NHS.@RCEM_VP pic.twitter.com/3OXcc0bMvz
—Times Radio (@TimesRadio) January 3, 2023
If immediately, hospital officials qualified these comments, the vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Ian Higginson, spoke on the BBC to support this position.If you’re in the field, you know it’s a long-term problem, it’s not just short-term.” he insists.
What is the situation in France?
In France, the public hospital is also in crisis. Degraded working conditions, lack of staff, almost non-existent salary increases… Staff tend to leave the public institution. However, figures for excess mortality are more difficult to find.
Asked about the issue, Dr. Christophe Prudhomme, emergency physician and spokesperson for the association of emergency physicians in France (AMUF), believes that the same thing is happening in France. “The difference is that in France, the public hospital is less well organized than in England, and they have easier access to these figures, which politicians cannot hide. But here too, there is excess mortality linked to the deterioration of the public hospital” hammers the doctor.
For Patrick Pelloux, emergency doctor and president of the AMUF, the figures are certainly comparable but there is no official source. “But it’s the same with us for sure! And if it’s not yet, it will be the same for us. It’s something we’ve already seen this summer with 3,000 deaths, which we cleverly attributed to the heat wave, but which are in fact linked to a system that is falling apart.” again supports the doctor.
“A loss of chance for lack of means”
“Here, we modestly call it a loss of chance for lack of means“explains Christophe Prudhomme. “But it’s a reality, studies have proven it. For example, it has been shown that all patients combined, when someone is hospitalized in a department other than the one where they should be, this generates an excess mortality of 9 % For resuscitation it is more serious: we go up to 30% excess mortality“says the doctor.
He also recalls that in the city, more than 600,000 people affected by a chronic pathology have no attending physician. “We don’t talk about it, but these are also patients who are less well followed and who will see their state of health deteriorate faster than average”.