“An unacceptable hostage-taking”, Sygesikring revolts against the laboratories

On Wednesday, and after the announcement of budget cuts in the Financial Law for Social Security (PLFSS), which would notably allow for a cut of 250 million euros in 2023, the laboratories decided to no longer send the results of the Covid program from Thursday. 19 tests (mainly PCR) in the SI-DEP database. To “send a message” to the government, the labs had indicated that customers would continue to receive their results, but “there will no longer be any possible follow-up to the epidemic”. On the other hand, the laboratories will no longer be reimbursed by the Health Insurance, which would correspond to a loss of earnings estimated at 14 million euros per week.

In a press release issued on Thursday 27 October, Sygesikringen explains that it “fully” agrees with the government’s reaction. “Thus taking the surveillance of the Covid-19 epidemic hostage is unacceptable in light of the health context and the public health problems”, said Thomas Fatôme, the director of the National Health Insurance Fund. Before I add: “I appeal to the spirit of responsibility of biologists in the areas.” The organization also wanted to provide further information on the situation of the laboratories as well as the discussions that were carried out to create savings in the sector.

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Ready to go on strike

L’Assurance Maladie notes that the medical biology sector was characterized by “already high financial profitability” before the Covid-19 pandemic (over 17%), and that this increased in 2020 and 2021. 20 to 30% order. At the same time as they welcome the involvement of the laboratories, it would be natural for them to make an “effort”, asks Sygesikringen. “After discussion with the sector, this reduction could be distributed between routine biological procedures (up to 200 million euros) and Covid tests (up to 50 million euros), stating that for the following years it was not mentioned to make “250 million euros in further cuts”.

For his part, the Minister of Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, had assumed “to ask for the efforts of biological laboratories”, justifying the measure with “an already high profitability before the crisis” and further increased with an increase of more than 7 billion. of the revenue linked to samples” for two years. “Agreed for an extraordinary contribution, but not for a totally blind plane,” replied the president of the Alliance for Medical Biology, Alain Le Meur, warning that biologists were “capable of go further”, until “a strike if the government does it. do not understand (them)”. Cnam wants to continue the dialogue, but this “presupposes that the representatives of the sector take a responsible position in the choice of actions carried out to carry out their demands and guarantee both the continuity of care and the execution of their missions in the service of health. in public,” she replied.

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