Faced with the observation of the future of their healthcare territory, which they fear will turn into a medical desert, the 24 healthcare professionals from Lézan and its surroundings have been mobilizing for almost three years. This Tuesday evening, at the Cardet home, they presented their grievances to half a dozen elected officials with one objective: to alert!
Some guests have obviously not found the way to the home of Cardet, yet well indicated just next to the municipal stadium. This Tuesday evening, around twenty health professionals from Lézan and its surroundings had invited the mayors of the seven municipalities concerned by their care territory (Lézan, Tornac, Canaules, Saint-Nazaire-des-Gardies, Saint-Jean-de-Serres , Cardet, Massillargues-Attuech), the Department, the Occitanie region, Alès Agglo, the Community of communes of Piedmont Cévennes, the regional health agency (ARS) Occitanie, Forms Occitanie and the territorial professional health community (CPTS) “Between Chestnut and Micocoule” to which they are attached.
A meeting that some considered to be that of “the last chance” In view of “the emergency” which hangs over the future of the Epione multi-site health center (read here). Despite major absentees, like Christophe Rivenq, excused, Claude Rols, director of the Gard departmental delegation to the ARS, who warned the organizers of his non-appearance… during the meeting, and two mayors (Saint-Jean-de-Serres and Canaules), while others were represented by an assistant, the health professionals had a little over an hour to present their grievances.
To symbolize the sacred union, and while they had practically all made the trip to Cardet, including Dr. Moulayes, 73, the latter succeeded each other at the desk, with a slide show in support. “Our priority project is the active search for general practitioners”engaged a nurse whose office is based in Tornac. “This is clearly where the shoe pinches”pressed another professional, who currently lists two general practitioners in Lézan, two in Lédignan, and one in Boisset-et-Gaujac, which will be “all of retirement age by 2030”.
Because this Tuesday evening, it was above all a question of planning to avoid being faced with a fait accompli. This was the whole meaning of the intervention of another healthcare professional who set out to present the evolution of the demography of the territory. In 2022, the MSP Epione healthcare area will cover 5,900 inhabitants. “By 2030, we can see a fairly clear increase”, notes the young woman, who reports 6,990 inhabitants. A figure disputed by Éric Torreilles, mayor of Lézan, incontestably the elected official who best masters a thorny file which has been in his hands for three years. The last-named notably argues “new town planning laws which will not make it possible to reach this threshold”.
Even in this side from the advanced forecast, health professionals are confident that population increase there will be. A population that is more “aging”and therefore subject to care. “In the territory, there are 12.6% of people over 75, against 9.4% for the national average”, noted the collective. Finally, before the dental surgeon Matthieu Abric concludes this presentation, a nurse sent some figures: “The two current doctors cover the needs of more than 3,000 patients, and this off the waiting list, knowing that the average patient base of a doctor is normally around 1,100 patients.”
“The goal is to sound the alarm and alert you”, summarized Dr. Abric. And to add: “We must attract doctors to our territory. This was the purpose of the creation of the MSP. But in three years, no new young doctor has come forward. We have a real problem!” A problem that will only be solved by enhancing the attractiveness of the Epione health center. “Fewer and fewer young people are leaving college. They will have a lot of offers and will give in to the highest bidders”, wants to believe the dental surgeon. The latter knows the elements likely to attract young GPs: “a sufficient volume of work and modern teamwork.”
“It’s not up to health professionals to put out the fire”
Unanimous on this subject, the health professionals of the MSP no longer conceive of their activity other than by “a coordinated exercise” within premises “adapted” housing a meeting room, a secretariat and a coordination space. What the current Lézan medical center does not offer, where an expansion project was once considered. Thus, the construction of a new nursing home appears to health professionals to be the best alternative. But where, and especially at what price? “Ladle it’s 500,000 euros minimum”, advances Dr. Abric. A significant sum for these seven small rural communes which, to make matters worse, are spread over two distinct territories (Alès Agglomeration for some, the Community of communes of Piedmont Cévennes for others).
A heavy investment and a real estate project that health professionals do not intend to endorse. “We are able to carry the project on the medical side, but we are not bankers or architects”, swings a nurse. Insisting on character “private” of their mode of exercise, Éric Torreilles remarks that care professionals have no “not willing to invest financially”. “It’s not our role”answer in chorus the main interested parties, who benefited from the support of the representative of Forms, who also acknowledged that “It’s not up to health professionals to put out the fire”. “So are you looking for a private or public property developer?”summarized the departmental councilor of the canton Olivier Gaillard, in the form of a rhetorical question. “Yes !”retorted Matthieu Abric.
A letter to the deputy?
“We are enthusiastic and ready to support you. Now for the levers and the means…”blew Fabien Cruveiller, mayor of Cardet and president of the Community of communes of Piedmont Cévennes, with a hint of helplessness. “Without some private funding, I don’t see how communities could commit to this kind of project. We need guarantees”, warned Olivier Gaillard, half-heartedly inviting doctors and others to get their hands on the wallet before subsidies are considered. For his part, the mayor of Lézan claims to have “take the problem head-on” by buying, for example, land to accommodate this nursing home for “to prove my (his) goodwill”.
This Tuesday evening, no one seemed to have the miracle solution. And, as often in the face of such an impasse, the absentees were wrong. “It would have been good for everyone to be there. What bothers me is the absence of the deputy. With health, we are still talking about a subject of national order”, cursed Éric Torreilles. A few days before the meeting was held without him, Nupes MP for the 5th constituency, Michel Sala, reportedly told the organizers that it would be . At the end of a first meeting between health professionals and elected officials which gave rise to“reflections”
the idea of sending him a letter as soon as possible was gaining ground.
* Contacted through his parliamentary attaché, Michel Sala indicates that he is at the National Assembly in Paris this week and mentions his impossibility to participate in this meeting. “He had told the organizers that he might be present but he had not confirmed”, specifies his close collaborator, who indicates that the deputy will contact the health professionals as soon as possible.
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