Monday, May 23rd, 2022

Mental health: Assises and announcements for a sector in distress – Health

During these Mental health and psychiatry foundations, professionals expect Emmanuel Macron to announce, this Tuesday, at the end of the debates, the reimbursement of consultations with psychologists, the unions fearing, however, the announcement of an “indecent” rate of about thirty euros for a half-hour session. And they hope, without much conviction, that an emergency plan will come to the aid of a disaster-stricken public psychiatry.

The covid-19 epidemic has put a spotlight on mental disorders, from which more than 12 million French people currently suffer. Isolation, anxieties and violence in the privacy of confinements were also the detonators of new suffering.

“In 2021, we have gone from one in five people affected by these disorders to one in four”, warns Rachel Bocher, head of the psychiatry department of the Nantes University Hospital. The crisis also threw a harsh light on the state of dilapidation of the sector: “Yet it has been ten years since the reports follow one another with the same observation: psychiatry is on the verge of implosion”, she laments.

Emmanuel Macron had therefore made these Assises a promise, the Ministry of Health even evoking a “historic moment”. The postponement of the event from June to September only increased expectations.

“It is important to get psychiatric disorders out of the walls of the hospital”, rejoices Marie-Jeanne Richard, president of theNational Union of Families of Sick Persons, who sees it as a way to break – finally! – the taboo surrounding this subject in France. However, she regrets a very “health” orientation and the absence of many associations in the medico-social sector, which have published a letter calling for “participatory and open to all” meetings.


For professionals, the expectations are as high as the fears of being disappointed. “It’s simple: we have to restore everything and for that we need a big plan with billions”, summarizes Norbert Skurnik, president of the Intersyndicale for the defense of public psychiatry.

With beds “closed by the tens of thousands” in recent decades and chronic underfunding, it is impossible to absorb the 40% increase in patients followed in ten years.

“We must reduce inequalities of access, facilitate the course of care and create a culture of prevention,” recalls Rachel Bocher. And to improve, too, the image of hospital psychiatry, which cannot recruit young doctors to fill the many vacant positions.

The task is immense and the professionals want to remain lucid on the intentions of the president in pre-election period: “We hope that it will not be only promises”, pleads Norbert Skurnik.

More than a big plan, they expect Emmanuel Macron to announce the generalization of the reimbursement of consultations with liberal psychologists by the Health Insurance, after several local experiments and the creation of a “psy check” for children in April.

After a favorable report from the Court of Auditors and first contrasting results, the ministry and unions began negotiations a year ago, the point of tension still remaining and still being remuneration.
A demonstration to keep the pressure on

At the dawn of the Assizes, the National Union of Psychologists fears the announcement of a reimbursement offer around € 30, “subject to prescription and medical control”, which would be “catastrophic for the profession”, according to its secretary general, Patrick Ange Raoult. This is why, with other organizations, including the CGT and Sud, psychologists are calling for a rally this Tuesday afternoon, in front of the Ministry of Health, just before the probable announcements of the Head of State.,86016

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