Industrial action grows in French emergency wards over lack of staff and beds


On May 25th some 200 emergency department nursing staff met in Paris to discuss their growing strike action, which has so far been largely ignored by the government. A national demonstration will be held in the French capital on June 6th as part of their protest over what they claim are overcrowded casualty wards, a lack of beds and a shortage of staff. Accident and emergency doctors are now also calling for a walk-out. Caroline Coq-Chodorge reports on a growing protest within the French health system.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

Industrial action which began at a emergency department in a Paris hospital is gradually and quietly spreading across France, even if so far it has largely been ignored by the government. Having started at Saint-Antoine hospital in Paris on March 18th the protest action has spread to twenty-two of the twenty-five emergency units run by the Paris regional health authority the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) and hospitals across France. So far 65 emergency departments have joined the appeal by the inter-emergency ward collective group behind the action and another 61 are considering it, out of a total of 500 public hospital emergency units in the country.