European Union of Private Hospitals

Private hospitals in France on total strike from 3 June

At an extraordinary executive committee meeting this morning, the French Federation of Private Hospitals (Fédération de l’Hospitalisation Privée – FHP), together with all the unions representing liberal practitioners, decided to respond to the profound shock induced by the government’s recent announcement regarding hospital pricing for 2024, by announcing a total strike from 3 June (except for vital activities such as dialysis).

The strike, which will affect 1,030 establishments employing more than 200,000 health professionals, including 40,000 liberal practitioners, is a firm response to the government’s decision to only increase financing for private hospitals by 0.3%, while public hospitals will benefit from a 4.3% increase. Furthermore, the denial of essential financing for wage increases within the private sector, while such provisions are extended to healthcare professionals across other establishments, is also unacceptable. This decision, which has disastrous consequences, was taken without any consultation with those involved in the sector, and is exacerbating an already critical situation in which costs are rising exponentially while tariffs remain insufficient to ensure the viable management of establishments. What is extremely worrying is that the proportion of private hospitals in deficit, which rose from 25% to 40% between 2021 and 2023, will reach the alarming level of over 60% in 2024.

By making these extremely critical choices, the government has decided to jeopardize private clinics and hospitals which account for 35% of all hospital activity, but only 18% of health insurance expenditure for health establishments. Their crucial role in the local territorial network guarantees access to care for millions of French citizens, but this mission is now being compromised by political decisions of unprecedented violence.

In light of the regrettable lack of transparency and consultation with the Deputy Minister for Health, the FHP is also announcing that it will limit its interactions with the Ministry and the ARS to essential dialogue only. Moreover, the FHP is pledging to explore all available legal avenues at the national level and with each health establishment to rectify this injustice and reinstate equity.

Lamine Gharbi: “The situation has become untenable, and we have no choice but to go on strike to make our voice heard. We cannot remain passive when confronted with a political decision that jeopardizes our establishments and compromises access to care for our patients. The government must realize that by weakening the private hospital sector, it is weakening the entire healthcare system.”