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80 Paris hospital doctors resign over 'disgraceful' conditions

Doctor examines a medical image.
Doctor examines a medical image. Photofusion/Helen Stone/UIG via Getty Images

80 senior doctors in a disadvantaged area just north of Paris have resigned in protest at poor working conditions, and are demanding a meeting with the Prime Minister.

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The consultants, from Seine Saint-Denis, which is one of the poorest departments in France, told journalists at a press conference that they are unable to treat patients properly and there are not enough nurses and supplementary staff.

“How can you justify paying a nurse - with at least 3 years training, who works weekends and difficult hours, dealing with so much pain and misery – just a bit more than the minimum wage?” asked Dr. Yacine Tandjaoui-Lambiotte, who works in the emergency unit in the Hôpital Avicenne in the town of Bobigny in Seine Saint-Denis. “Even in Poland and Slovakia, they’re paid more than that”, he added, “public hospitals need an injection of money. Lots of money.”

'It's a disgrace'

Dr. Noël Pommepuy, child psychiatrist at France’s second biggest psychiatric hospital, Ville Avrard, said there had been cases where patients had to be restrained or put in isolation because of lack of staff. “It’s a disgrace” he said.

“We are physically and psychologically exhausted, we feel as though we are doing our job badly and in a rush”, added another doctor.

Health minister Agnès Buzyn said she would meet Doctors’ representative in mid-March, after an upcoming spending package “to see if further measures were needed.”

But the doctors say they want an appointment with the Prime Minister or President Macron.

A strike among hospital staff is planned for 14 February.

( - with Wires)

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