Calixte, the care home worker lost to Covid-19, and a family’s fight for justice


Calixte Songa Mbappé, 54, a single mother of five, worked on temporary contracts in a care home operated by Paris City Hall when the novel coronavirus epidemic began sweeping through France. In close physical contact with the residents, but not issued with a face mask or other protective clothing, she caught the virus in mid-March and died within weeks. Her financially insecure children are now in an uphill fight for official recognition that her illness was caused at her workplace. Mathilde Goanec reports on an emblematic case of the unsung carers who lost their lives to Covid-19, and the plight of the families left behind.   

French government unveils health service reforms

France — Link

A four-year programme of reform of France's healthcare services, costed at 3.4 billion euros, was unveiled by President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, which involves the reorganisation of hospitals, the recruitment of hundreds of doctors in so-called 'medical deserts', and the use of digital technologies.

Macron launches reform of 'moth-eaten' welfare system

France — Analysis

French President Emmanuel Macron this week presented a broad outline of a future reform of the country’s welfare system, in a speech to a congress of health insurance companies. Beyond an announcement of measures to facilitate access to certain types of healthcare and boost the prevention of illness, Macron said the current welfare system, which he described as “moth-eaten”, was a failed model, but insisted the solutions to its problems “cannot be budgetary”. Attacking poverty, he said, can only succeed by making people “responsible” for their lives. Manuel Jardinaud analyses the president’s speech and concludes that behind the catchphrases and carefully avoided issues emerges Macron’s strategy for the dismantling of France’s cherished social protection system.

Macron reveals hand in off-the-cuff comments on welfare spending

France — Link

A brief video circulating on social media shows French President Emmanuel Macron talking about welfare spending to his aides within the Elysée Palace, telling them that 'we put too much dosh' into benefits and yet those 'born poor stay poor', arguing that people must be 'made responsible', and that healthcare policy should be more active in preventing the causes of the need for treatment.