Infectious disease expert Didier Sicard on lessons of the virus crisis and the need to re-think healthcare policy


A leading specialist in infectious diseases, French doctor Didier Sicard was for many years head of internal medicine at the Cochin public hospital in Paris, helped establish the Pasteur Institute’s branch in Laos, south-east Asia, and served for eight years as head of France’s national bioethics advisory committee. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, he offers his insight into the current Covid-19 virus pandemic – a phenomenon he warned against long ago –  including the perpetuating root causes of the crisis, the action needed to avoid a recurrence, why medicine can only be effective if it encompasses a wide view of society, and how public health policy has lost sight of its fundamental missions.

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Didier Sicard is a leading French specialist in infectious diseases, a former head of the internal medicine department at the Cochin public hospital in Paris and emeritus professor of medicine at the Paris-Descartes university, who was for eight years, until 2008, head of France’s bioethics advisory committee, the Comité consultatif national d’éthique pour les sciences de la vie et de la santé, for which he continues to serve as an honorary president.