Emergency physicians at the Marche hospital, which depends on the Vivalia intermunicipal healthcare organization, have all resigned. They are currently serving their notice period which ends in April. This collective decision follows the decision to withdraw from them an additional salary intended to enhance the profession.
Last February, the medical council, completely independent of the management of Vivalia, decided not to pay it any more. This bonus had been in place for several years to upgrade emergency physicians and in particular to prevent them from leaving for Luxembourg where salary conditions are much more advantageous. “We already suffer from a recognition problem and in addition the proximity of the Grand Duchy does not help. It is therefore difficult to recruit “, explains Doctor Jérôme Jobe, the coordinator of emergency services for the province of Luxembourg. “We are offering schedule adjustments. We are also focusing on training, but it is clear that the salary aspect weighs a lot. This supplement clearly made it possible to retain doctors. It is a shame that following a conflict between the medical council and the direction of Vivalia, he was called into question. It clearly does not help recruiting and given the current atmosphere it is even more difficult to attract new doctors. ”
For its part, the medical council considers that this help given to emergency physicians should be temporary and especially that it is done at the expense of other doctors at the hospital of Marche such as surgeons whose activities, and therefore returns, were highly impacted by the Covid. For Yves Bernard, director of the intermunicipal healthcare company Vivalia, this argument does not hold water: “We took these salary supplements via an increase in the fee supplements which are therefore paid by the insurance companies. It was painless for the doctors who were never called upon. At the same time the manager , the municipalities and the province, added 600,000 euros. “
The pill is all the more difficult for emergency doctors in Marche to swallow as their colleagues from Arlon and Libramont are still entitled to this supplement. Deeming themselves aggrieved and considering that the terms of the contract were modified unilaterally and without notice, they took legal action. The labor court will look into the case on September 24. It is not against no question of closing the service: it is a legal obligation for the hospital to maintain emergencies.
One way or another, therefore, the situation will have to be unblocked. Meetings are taking place for the moment at Vivalia in order to find a package that will satisfy everyone.