General emergency alert. Night closings, "load shedding" on other hospitals, access filtered by the Samu... For lack of caregivers, at least 120 emergency services have been forced to limit their activity or are preparing for it, according to a list drawn up by the association Samu-Urgences de France (SUdF) that AFP obtained.
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In 60 departments, covering the twelve continental regions and Mayotte, at least one service must bow to insurmountable "difficulties": lack of doctors, nurses, nursing auxiliaries or "downstream beds" to transfer their patients, according to the SUdF count - which does not include Corsica, the West Indies and Guyana.
In total, almost 20% of the approximately 620 establishments - public and private - hosting one or more emergency services are affected. Further sign of an unprecedented crisis, 14 of the 32 largest French hospitals (CHU and CHR) are on this list.
"The situation is catastrophic"
Among the 120 establishments listed, more than half had to resolve to close, most often partially, their emergencies. Sometimes at night, as in Alkirch (Haut-Rhin), Auch (Gers) or Voiron (Isère). Elsewhere, by removing mobile teams from Smur, such as Creil (Oise), Grenoble or Metz.
The most frequent "solution" remains however the "regulation of access" by the Samu: in Bordeaux, Cherbourg (Manche) or Nevers (Nièvre), unless there is a vital emergency, only a prior call to 15 can allow admission at certain times.
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A dozen hospitals went as far as "shedding", sending patients to other sites, such as Châteauroux (Indre), Laval (Mayenne) or Pontivy (Morbihan). A handful have even resorted to the "White plan", which allows operations to be deprogrammed and personnel to be reassigned, including Rennes, Roubaix and Tourcoing (North).
According to an emergency doctor working in one of the listed hospitals, "the situation is catastrophic, we have never experienced such tension even before the summer period".