Fuxian Municipal Councilor, Chiva Geriatrician, and Chair of Geriatrics, Dr. Lawrence Burris was invited on Tuesday to discuss Chiva’s strengths and weaknesses, whether in general medicine, emergency, specialties or relief.
In front of a full house in the cultural center of the city of Foua, Norbert Miller, mayor of the county city, stressed how much the health issue concerned people who needed to be informed. Since there are many concerns: delays in appointments in specialties, difficulty in finding a attending physician, sometimes the obligation to go for treatment in Toulouse in the private sector, overruns of fees, emergencies, etc.
Population aging is also a topical issue, with difficulty in accessing care affecting rural areas, as well as hospital care for people with serious acute problems, while a shortage of caregivers prevails. A few young doctors have recently moved to Shiva. However, to attract young talents, it is necessary to give them the means to work properly. The attractiveness of our region, which has the advantage of being close to Toulouse, remains an asset.
Really old design hospital
As Dr. Burris pointed out, the Chiva’s design dates back to the early 1990s and since then medicine has changed a lot, making working tools obsolete in general medicine and forcing essential investments, both in buildings and equipment. Case in point, scanners: the Chiva machine is running at 170% capacity, saving appointment waiting times of 6 or 7 months for certain examinations such as colonoscopies, and causing people to go to Toulouse in the private sector.
Chiva is also a central hospital supporting the Saint-Girons and Lavelanet institutions. If it becomes brittle, it may be affected. To take care of most ailments, it must offer a large capacity to deliver care, even though the private sector offers shorter lead times, which contributes to the undermining of the public hospital system. However, it is the public service that keeps its doors open 24 hours a day with the ability to take responsibility for every problem.
“We are doing a job that the private sector is not doing, so we have to keep the balance and keep a strong hospital. So we need support.” As a decision maker, the ARS will have to make the right decisions. However, the Chiva is not properly equipped, “and this is a danger to the health of all the inhabitants of Arig”.
The fifteen, finally, have a capital role. In Ariège, the organization takes place jointly with Samu and the firefighters, ensuring the effectiveness of the emergency services. But here again, the danger of moving to Toulouse is present, with the loss of the appeal of the emergency physicians whose role is crucial.
The ultimate strength of the Ariège health system comes from local dynamics, examples of which are Tarascon and Fossat. All health professionals work together, and this local dynamic will be the key to success and ensuring attractiveness. “This is how young doctors want to work. Elected officials will have to implement projects according to this model, which can be implemented at the unit or department level,” concluded Dr. Boris.
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