Patients face cancellations as French hospital staff set to strike

Union is calling for emergency units under threat to be maintained, more hospital beds, and pay rises

Striking public healthcare workers will join those in the private sector who are also protesting

Public healthcare workers are being urged to join protests next week after a major French union filed a strike motion over working conditions and what they call the poor state of public healthcare in the country. 

The healthcare branch of the CGT, one of France’s largest and most radical unions, filed for strike action between June 28 - July 4, inviting all members working in the public healthcare sector to join. 

This will largely affect public hospitals but some private establishments which provide partial public service may also be impacted, as well as blood donation centres. 

Read more: Who can be a blood donor in France and how to help if subject to UK ban

The full extent of the strike’s impact will not be known until closer to the time – striking medical staff must provide a minimum level of service, but unions and administration are not required to make it publically known how many members will be joining action. 

However, delays may be expected during the strike period, particularly for outpatients with appointments at a public hospital clinic. 

If you are scheduled to have an appointment during these dates, it is recommended to check closer to the time if it is maintained by contacting the relevant clinic or outpatient service.

Private healthcare workers are currently on a renewable strike (i.e one with no end date), over pay conditions and the closure of hospital beds in a number of hospitals and healthcare centres.

Read more: French healthcare workers on strike over hospital bed closures

Call for closures to urgent care to end and for more beds and pay rises

The union called the strike over what it deems the diminishing state of public healthcare in France. 

Amongst its demands, it is calling for: 

  • Stopping further closures of 24-hour A+E services

  • Preventing any more hospital beds from being closed, and re-opening previously closed spaces 

  • A creation of local healthcare centres, particularly in rural areas 

  • Equipping of local hospitals with facilities for the elderly, and improve at-home care for sick elderly people 

The union is also calling for an improvement to working and pay conditions for staff. These include: 

  • A minimum wage of €2,000 gross per month for all medical staff

  • The end to merit-based pay

  • A recruitment drive, employing an extra 200,000 staff in EHPADs [elderly care homes] and 100,000 more in hospitals 

  • More permanent (CDI) contracts for healthcare staff 

  • Early retirement for some healthcare workers

You can read the full list of demands on a PDF downloadable from the union’s website

Read more: UPDATED: Strikes in France in June 2024 and how you may be impacted