Sublime seabed dotted with multicolored corals, a lagoon with turquoise blue water, a rich and varied fauna. A voiceover that boasts of “mild and warm temperatures all year round” thanks to a “tropical climate” : New Caledonia has decided to promote its natural environment in France in the days to come. Except that you won’t see this promotional clip on your TV screens or on the web. This is not intended for the general public.
It is reserved for distribution to young graduates in metropolis medicine. Why ? Because the French archipelago is experiencing a shortage of liberal doctors. She is also referred to as “dangerous” by local media. Faced with this situation, the authorities have decided to pull out all the stops – and the checkbook – to attract practitioners.
Covid-19 has created a medical desert in New Caledonia
The community promises an installation bonus of 6 million Pacific francs, or 50,000 euros, to health professionals who come to settle in the Southern Province of the archipelago, the one with the most populations.
Read also. The villa with swimming pool is in the middle of a natural area: the prefecture has demolished it
“The idea is also to enter into a somewhat incentive logic”explains Nicolas Pannier, the secretary general of the South Province in New Caledonia, to our colleagues from Europe 1. According to him, the worsening lack of doctors is an indirect consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic: “We had a rather special Covid crisis, as we are an island, we closed the territory for more than 18 months. We were a little locked up.”
“Some professionals in mainland France have been taken away from their families. So they felt the need to return. That’s why we want to attract new doctors again”he adds.
50,000 euros in three installments
The bonus of 50,000 euros offered to future doctors in the archipelago is not without guarantee. The idea is not to bring in health professionals so that they can be distributed soon after. Its payment is staggered over time: a first at installation, a second at 18 months then the last at 36 months.
The payment of the premium is also subject to certain criteria: Europe 1 specifies that the doctor must commit to working for three years in the South Province, in areas in tension, at least 32 hours a week and participate in on-call shifts.
Read also. The retiree likes to garden in (very) undress, the town hall will legislate to force him to cover up
With this financial system without equivalent in France, the South Province of New Caledonia hopes to meet its needs for private doctors. For the moment, only eight positions out of 30 are filled.