By Lamine Gharbi, President of The French Federation of private hospitals (FHP)
The current health situation in the country
A new Minister, called Catherine Vautrin, has just been appointed to the government with a broad scope: health, work, solidarity. A Minister delegate for health is expected to be appointed in the coming days. Many major issues await them, in a very difficult context for health actors: inflation is greatly deteriorating the financial situation of public and private hospitals, and therefore weakening their ability to meet the health expectations of the French people. Another area of concern is the shortage of medical and paramedical professionals, and its consequences on access to care in the territories. Today, we aspire to more political stability (we have had six health ministers since 2017!) to initiate the transformation of the health system that our country needs, and to face the challenges of innovation, prevention, access to care for all, and ecological transition. To do this, it is necessary to trust the initiatives of health actors, and to treat the public sector and the private sector of health equitably to encourage cooperation and complementarity. We also hope that the new Minister’s work/health perimeter will be an opportunity to make progress on the topics of training, employment, and attractiveness of health professions.
The Association’s three main priorities for 2024
In this new political context, we obviously ask for financial support in the face of the negative impact of inflation. But we also want to focus on three issues that are essential for our health system:
We want a real health programming law. Health policy needs clear objectives, based on shared priorities to improve the health of the French people. This presupposes a multi-year vision (because the annual budget does not allow for the necessary transformations), supported by an ambitious health programming law.
We support the need to create a real “Public Health Service”, which brings together actors of all statuses around missions, in response to the needs of patients. Within this Public Health Service, both public and private actors would have the same responsibilities and the same rights.
Finally, strong actions must be taken for training and employment in the health and medico-social sectors, which are currently facing alarming shortages of health professionals. Public and private institutions could hire more than 150,000 new professionals. It is also necessary to promote gateways between health professions, allowing for more attractive career careers. Finally, health professionals in the public and private sectors must be given the same regard and an equal treatment.