Marisol Touraine and Roselyne Bachelot refused to "give lessons" to Agnès Buzyn. While the latter was on the grill, Tuesday, before the commission of inquiry of the national Assembly on the management of the health crisis, Wednesday the 1st of July, it was the turn of two former Health ministers to be questioned. "I would have to give the slightest lesson," said from the outset, Marisol Touraine, holding that it was "too easy, from the outside." Successor to mps, Roselyne Bachelot then assured him, almost in the same terms : "I am not going to give lessons to my successors and to judge their actions as I know the difficulty of their tasks".
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Roselyne Bachelot has been at the head of the department between 2007 and 2010, under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy. In 2012, François Hollande, this is Marisol Touraine, who had held the reins of the health, until 2017. If they are denied to do the lesson to their successors, the two ex-ministers, however, did not fail to point out their differences of appreciation on several points in front of the deputies, including the question of stocks of protective masks.
An update on the thorny question of masks
Then in April 2010, it reached one billion surgical masks and 700 million masks FFP2, more protective, early 2020, when the epidemic of Covid-19's arrival in France, this stock was reduced to 117 million surgical masks for adults, $ 40 million of masks, pediatric, and more no reserve FFP2. Tuesday, Agnès Buzyn had ensured that the subject of the monitoring of the stocks of protective masks not dated not specially to his level.
"Is it conceivable that for three years, Agnès Buzyn had no information on the stocks of masks ?", interviewed the rapporteur of the committee, Eric Ciotti (LR). "Each minister has his organization and its functioning," replied Marisol Touraine, before adding: "If it had happened with me, I'd be angry, very, very strong". She claims to have "maintained the idea that he had a large stock" and to have "never accepted" the doctrine of passing to the "inventory buffer" renewed as and, raised, in particular by Jerome Solomon, director-general of Health since January 2018.
"The inventory quantities back up to the level of the Directorate-general of Health once every 3 months, there were orders of renewal were passed all the years," she said, adding that upon his arrival at the ministry there were 730 million surgical masks in stock, and 754 million when she left. "If we had this level a few weeks ago, the situation would have been different, at least psychologically", said Marisol Touraine.
We said that there was more risk of doing too much than doing not enough
"I am a keeper of the policy masks. This is not at the time when the pandemic occurs that there is a need to build stocks," she said Roselyne Bachelot, who has had to manage the risk of pandemic influenza A(H1N1) in 2009. Ironically, the epidemic of Covid-19 was signed by the return of the former minister, seen as the incarnation of a precautionary principle has been forgotten by his successors, while at the time it had been very criticised for having ordered too many vaccines (94 million doses, of which only six million had been used) in the face of a pandemic turns out to be less serious than feared.
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"The trials of which I have been the object of ridicule, the stakes in question (were) of such a violence and such an injustice that I can understand the fears aroused in some of my successors. We said that there was more risk of doing too much than doing not enough," she analyzed. "It is considered that the public should be the health policy of the country, which is not my vision," added Roselyne Bachelot, calling "the creation of a resilient society, where each citizen takes of his protection", the opposite of some "infantilization" current, where we expect everything "the lord of the castle". "Finally, physicians who did not have masks in their firm, which do not have a blouse ? (...) It is expected that the prefect or the director of the ARS (regional Agency of health, editor's NOTE) come with a small cart and wearing masks ?", has she mocked.
Marisol Touraine défent public Health France
The two former ministers have, however, delivered a different analysis on the creation by 2017 of public Health in France, which has absorbed the functions of the Establishment of preparedness and response to health emergencies (Eprus). Marisol Touraine, who has overseen the creation of this body, has defended the necessity of an"integrated agency" while the "landscape health was a mess," with "sometimes duplicates", and a difficulty to coordinate the research, prevention messages and operational actions. Conversely, Roselyne Bachelot has held that the Eprus, tool "quite remarkable", was to "maintain their autonomy". "When you mix the contingencies of day-to-day with the anticipation of long-term, the contingencies of day-to-day always prevails", she warned. Xavier Bertrand, who held that position from 2005 to 2007 and then from 2010 to 2012, will in its turn be questioned on Thursday.