World News: To the Developer of COVID-19

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As the current health crisis saturate French hospitals, it highlights the many shortcomings of a health system too long subservient to the doxa, or popular opinion, of economic austerity and the world healthcare system is exposed as grossly inadequate.

Regardless of the health challenge it poses to Humanity, although it is not threatened with extinction by the coronavirus, the current pandemic is revealing in France at least of all a series of dysfunctions or even aberrations fruits of liberal logic visibly incompatible with the crisis we are experiencing.

These dysfunctions, to modestly name them, can be summed up in a few words: lack of masks, lack of beds, lack of structures, lack of caregivers, lack of tests, lack ... lack ... In short!

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The list is long and unfortunately not exhaustive. Why ? Because for many years, precisely since the mid-eighties with the appearance and the assertion of liberal policies fed by budgetary austerity, French hospitals and with them all the medical nebula linked to public funding have been sacrificed on the altar of profitability.

Concretely, considered as a financial chasm, the Hospital saw its budget scrutinized, the objective of the legislator being to limit the cost of this institution at the heart of the French health system.

For example, in recent decades, the number of beds in the French hospital system has experienced a continuous decline, since between 1982 and 2013, it went from nearly 600,900 to almost 429,000 beds (exactly 612,898 to 428,987), a decrease of 30%.

Price or Cost?

Worse! The newspaper Le Parisien recalled in October 2019 that "the increase in expenditure authorized in hospitals (and clinics) for 2020 must not exceed 2.1% of the envelope for 2019, or 1.5 billion more than last year and a budget capped at 84.2 billion euros. For 2019, the government had granted + 2.3%. This forces French hospitals to find 800 million euros in savings." (read )

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It would naturally be intellectually dishonest to stop at these statistics alone to explain the plight of hospital staff in the face of the epidemic, but these highlight a reality: health has now become a concern more economic and financial than human and health.

So if a first analysis is to be drawn from this crisis, it will certainly revolve around the idea that budgetary restriction policies aimed at controlling the financial burden of hospitals and the equipment necessary to cope with any event is incompatible with reality experienced nationally and globally.

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It is thus clear that if health has a cost, it has no price, at the same time, patients with covid-19 being able to testify to it, families grieved by the loss of one or more relatives too. .

Epidemics and Priorities

Once the epidemic has passed, it will therefore be necessary to rethink the financing of our health system, not in the light of financial considerations, even if these should not be neglected, but in the light of health realities other than those that prevailed until then. (read

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Let us not be naive or candid, there will be other epidemics comparable to the one we know today and which will force us to imagine other ways of life capable of responding by the invented means health requirements to come.

These means will certainly go through a reorganization of the state budget and its priorities. Besides, don't massive support plans for economies reveal a beginning of awareness that money is not made to be accumulated but to be spent?

Health will have to take its place in the order of priorities so as not to be at the service of the economy but, conversely, guide the budgetary orientations of the States now forced to deal with the evolutions that the planet imposes on us. Ultimately, this may be the new world ...

Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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