06.10.2020 Europe

French back their nurses and doctors but worry about health system in Covid-19 crisis

© REUTERS - Eric Gaillard
LISTEN OCT 6, 2020
© REUTERS - Eric Gaillard

A new survey shows that French people have a high level of confidence in the country's health professionals to deal with the Covid-19 crisis but they are worried about the future of the hospital system.

The dissatisfaction expressed by workers in the sector suggests it will have a hard time finding candidates to fill its ranks in the future.

Ninety-two percent of those polled last month (9 out of 10 people) said they had confidence in their doctors, and 96 percent said they had confidence in nursing staff, according to the 'health observatory' poll carried out by Odoxa for the National Mutual for Hospitals, and several French press outlets.

Three quarters of those polled (77 percent) said they were however worried about the Covid-19 health crisis in general, in particular, concerned for their family's health (74 percent), while 54 percent said they were concerned for their own health.

59 percent said they were worried about catching coronavirus at work, a figure which jumps up to 68 percent when it referred to people working in the health field.

French people were overall appreciative of their national hospitals with 8 out of 10 (83 percent) saying they felt the system had held up well under pressure during the first wave of the virus earlier this year.

Despite this outlook, 83 percent of French people polled said that the hospital system was in danger and that it had not been taken into consideration enough by the government.

To this end, 97 percent said they felt protecting the public hospital system was of major importance to the future of the country, a sentiment headed up by health professionals (97 percent), followed by pensioners (93 percent) and students (64 percent).

French people appeared pessimistic when it came to the quality of health care in the future, with 61 percent afraid it would deteriorate. 91 percent of health professionals said they were extremely pessimistic.

82 percent of those polled said public hospitals did not receive enough in terms of funding and human resources.

In terms of a professional future, the survey concluded that the reputation of the health sector had suffered over the years, attracting less new candidates.

84 percent said it was the working conditions had worsened, 71 percent said it was due to the poor remuneration, while 85 percent said it had become less attractive.

 'Not appreciated'
Most health workers said they felt their work was not appreciated (82 percent) and that they didn't have any hope of promotion (74 percent).

89 percent of health workers responded by saying they didn't have the means to properly care for patients. 74 percent of health workers also said they wouldn't recommend to their children to get jobs in public health. Despite this, most French people would recommend their children become doctors.

Dissatisfaction among health workers has continued to climb, going from 36 percent in 2017, to 56 percent in 2020.

*The study, released on Tuesday was based on a survey of 2,004 people, 18 years and over, between 16-21 September 2020. 3,910 health professionals in hospitals also took part in the survey between 11-25 September 2020.

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