“This summer, the hospital should not be the only light on in a territory”, says Frédéric Valletoux, president of the French Hospital Federation.

Frédéric Valletoux has been president of the Fédération hospitalière de France since 2011 and mayor of Fontainebleau. He has just been elected deputy for Seine-et-Marne, under the label Horizons-Ensemble!.

According to data from the survey conducted by the French Hospital Federation, 99% of establishments have permanent or temporary recruitment difficulties. How do you explain it?

There is a slow and constant increase in the number of staff in the public hospital service, by 3% between 2019 and 2021. But this increase is hidden by the persistence of recruitment problems, the attractiveness of the hospital, by absenteeism and high staff turnover due to the Covid-19 crisis.

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Then, the hospital has to deal with an increase in the population and also with demands for care related to aging and the explosion of chronic pathologies. Finally, the hospital also compensates for the weakness of city medicine, the general practitioners are fewer and fewer and therefore inevitably overwhelmed, this leads to the ratio of the number of patients to the hospital.

Emmanuel Macron has entrusted doctor François Braun, president of Samu-Urgences de France, with a “flash mission” on emergencies and unscheduled care. What do you expect?

A precise photograph of the state of play of hospital services. We estimate that 80% of hospitals in France are struggling to maintain the full supply of beds and services due to pressure on staff. We are also waiting for emergency measures to be able to maintain access to care this summer.

It is necessary to maintain the opening of a minimum of city cabinets, they must ensure their vacation schedules so as not to go on vacation simultaneously. It’s a process simple, basic, which is done in all companies, in all organizations. The hospital should not suddenly be the only light on in a territory. It is also necessary to quickly reassess all the on-call duties, especially at night.

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However, these are only emergency measures to get through the summer. In the medium term, the organization of the health system must be reviewed from top to bottom, whether it concerns its financing, the attractiveness of careers or the remuneration of hospital workers. It will also be necessary to lighten the weight of the administration which weighs as much on liberal medicine as on the hospital and which contributes to the exhaustion of the teams, who have the impression of rolling the rock of Sisyphus.

Do you fear that the lack of an absolute majority in the National Assembly will lead to a paralysis of hospital reform?

During the presidential campaign, we interviewed all the candidates. Even if the answers are not the same according to the parties, there is a consensus on the urgency of the reform of health. The actor whose role and place must be reinforced is the hospital. In the name of the general interest and the higher interest of the French people. We can build solutions which, if they will never actually be 100% consensual, could be sufficiently unifying to find majorities in the Assembly and the Senate.

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