Emergency doctor and director of Samu 31, Vincent Bounes is worried. With the strikes and the approaching summer, the emergency situation is getting more complicated.
Emergency services in Toulouse have been in crisis for several weeks. Will the situation deteriorate further?
On the eve of summer, we are really in trouble. I’m worried about how the next few days will unfold. So I advise you to have common sense. The situation of one in two patients can be resolved without going through the emergency room. People continue to be sick or have accidents, that’s normal, but what is worrying is that there is a real reduction in the supply of care. It will get worse this summer, it is estimated that more than a third of emergency services will partially close.
Today, how can we regulate emergency services?
The classic solution is the attending physicians. In Toulouse, it remains very complicated, because many people do not have attending physicians. During the summer period, they are on vacation and generally, replacements are rare. Today, however, many emergencies can be resolved with a general practitioner. If we have a runny nose, we are not going to call the Samu.
During the strike, the CHU has set up a filter at the emergency reception to avoid overload. Why not apply this method daily?
There has been a reorientation for several years. But the problem is that this system works only if we have structures to be able to reorient ourselves. Without an attending physician available, patients cannot be discharged. What is complicated is that patients requiring real care can sometimes wait several tens of minutes before having a bed.
We imagine that the return of the Covid will not fix things…
We have a lot of Covid patients, especially the unvaccinated. What worries me are the renunciations of care. In Occitania, it is estimated that 10 to 15% of people do not come to the emergency room because the delays are too long or the hospitals too far away.