Shortage of emergency doctors this summer: how to react?

The shortage of emergency doctors may disrupt emergency services during the months of July and August. Where to turn in case of emergency? We take stock.

During the months of July and August, the emergency services of hospitals in France may malfunction. In question, a shortage of emergency doctors, which has already grown this year. Their resignation in Ile-de-France was 73 in 2017 against 43 in 2015, according to the Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Île de France. Some acting doctors go on strike and practicing doctors will take their summer holidays. Still in Ile-de-France, the ARS lists 148 vacancies in the emergency structures on January 1, 2018, compared to 103 in 2016. So many problems that make professionals fear a disruption of emergency services .

"The summer period is always complicated, but it's getting worse because we are seeing a decrease in the number of doctors coupled with an increase in activity"explains François Braun, president of Samu-Urgences de France at Le Figaro. Several establishments in France are also concerned by the shortage, especially in Cher and Aube.

Where to turn in case of emergency?

The Emergency Medical Assistance Service (UAS) receives nearly 2500 calls a day. It is estimated that in more than 30% of cases, the answer is provided by information or medical advice. According to the government website, the UAS can be contacted at 15 to be redirected to a care organization or "in case of life-threatening distress" such as malaise, coma, haemorrhage, chest pain, breathing difficulties, burning, intoxication or when a person is not breathing.

Firefighters must be contacted to report a situation of danger or an accident involving property or persons, with a view to obtaining a prompt response. In case of fire, gas leak, burn, electrocution, road accident, dial 18 on his phone.

During the absence of the attending physician, during a hospitalization at home or during certain urgent medical situations and not necessarily vital, one can call SOS doctors. The network of liberal doctors often makes home visits, and gives itself the role "to help the public authorities and assist the Center 15 in their mission". We can contact them day and night at 36 24.

If you are in the European Union, you can dial 112 from a mobile device. This one will choose the nearest radio relay and will establish the best communication. This number can be dialed for emergencies of 18 for firefighters or 17 for police.

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