Almost 1,200 hospital doctors in France are resigning from supervisory roles in protest over public hospital funding and the governments handling of employee concerns about staffing levels.
Medical staff have accused the government of failing to engage in negotiations over public hospital services and what they say are serious shortfalls in funding. In an open letter to French Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn, the resigning doctors on Tuesday criticized the budget laid out for public hospitals in 2020 as “too little, too partial, too spread out over time.”
“The deterioration of the working conditions of professionals is such that it calls into question the quality of care and threatens the safety of patients,” the doctors added.
Thousands of other hospital staff and caregivers have signed a letter of support for the doctors, backing their calls for hiring additional staff and increasing the salaries of young doctors and non-medical staff.
“The resigning doctors ask nothing for themselves,” the letter reads. “They continue to treat.”
“The population must respond to their call. Their warning cry must be heard by the government.”
The move comes as the French government is already under serious pressure to resolve ongoing strikes and protests opposing its proposed pension plan reforms. The Macron administration says the changes will streamline multiple pension plans into one, but unions are objecting to retirement age increases and say the alterations will cost workers some of their hard-earned benefits.