The endless fight against the medical desert


From our regional correspondent

François L. lives near Artenay, in the Loiret, and he is not even looking for a general practitioner anymore. Like him, 150,000 people in the department – ​​nearly a quarter of the population – do not declare a doctor. A medical desert where, as in other rural departments of the Centre-Val de Loire region, the number of doctors per 100,000 inhabitants is well below the national average. healthy but “totally resigned”this computer scientist in his fifties plans to sell his house to rent an apartment in town, in Orléans or Dijon, “necessarily better equipped for access to care”.

Jacques Manchette, 66, was in the same situation for two years after the retirement of his general practitioner. This former manager at La Poste scoured all the medical practices around Beaune-la-Rolande, “all overloaded”. When he discovers diabetes and hypertension, he accidentally uses a telephone platform set up by Dr. Latifa Miqyass. She then integrates him into her patient base, treats him, and thus avoids daily injections of insulin. “In my practice, we have reorganized to take patients in ALD (long term condition)but unfortunately not enough”, she regrets. To fight against the difficulty of access to care, she trained eleven general practitioners behind her. Each agreed to comply with two-hour on-call duty, once a week, to treat patients requiring “unscheduled” care or “felt emergencies”. Since this special number has been in existence, more than 6,000 calls have been received. “This measures the extent of the needs! », says the 42-year-old practitioner. Over the past ten years, we have counted 13 generalist retirements who have not been replaced. And it’s not over ! The average age of practicing physicians is approaching 61 years. »

At the end of January, around thirty elected officials from the Centre-Val de Loire sent a letter to the Prime Minister “for access to care for all inhabitants”. The mayor of Orléans, Serge Grouard, for his part signed a partnership with the University of Zagreb to train 50 future doctors next September. Jean Castex announced on February 22 the creation of a university hospital center (CHU) in Orléans. On the front line, Marc Gaudet, president of the Loiret department, calls for “act from the start of the next school year, define a precise agenda and stick to it. If this were not the case, we can expect that one day the population will demand accountability in the courts. » Latifa Miqyass fears that these announcements are only bandages on a gaping wound, because the improvement of medical demography must be accompanied by measures promoting the attractiveness of rural areas. “We are not going to complain about training more doctors, but will we be able to keep them in the territory? »


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