Hospital: the deficit of CHUs has “tripled in one year”, representative bodies sound the alarm

Hospital: the deficit of CHUs has “tripled in one year”, representative bodies sound the alarm

The CHUs are facing a historic crisis. The 32 university hospital centers (CHU) have reached a cumulative deficit of 1.2 billion euros at the end of 2023, or three times more than in 2022, alerted the representative bodies of directors, deans and doctors on Monday, calling for “emergency measures”.

These latest figures show to what extent “the deterioration was deep and rapid”, after the deficit of 402 million euros at the end of 2022, write in a press release the presidents of the conferences of general directors of CHU, deans of medical faculties and presidents of establishment medical commissions. “The self-financing capacity of CHUs, and therefore investment, has fallen by 86%,” they continue. These difficulties are “perhaps the most serious since the creation of university hospitals in 1958”.

This deterioration “is linked to several external factors”, including an explosion in expenditure due to inflation (with a balance of 585 million euros for CHUs in 2023), a lack of funding for Ségur measures. health and a drop in revenue due to bed closures after the Covid-19 epidemic, explain the presidents. These figures “weigh heavily on the hopes of improvement”, recently observed in terms of the attractiveness of careers and the loyalty of caregivers, they estimate.

“Still time to avoid the worst”

The CHUs felt “a slight improvement in terms of absenteeism”, despite a “still high turnover among nurses. “Even if we have been able to reopen beds in recent months, several sectors are in great difficulty, such as geriatrics, pediatrics or psychiatry,” explains Professor Rémi Salomon, who represents the doctors, in this press release. Furthermore, CHUs are “responsible for a triple mission” of care, training and research, requiring “healthy and solid finances”, the presidents further observe.

According to them, the current situation will lead to “an extension of payment terms for suppliers and a profound weakening of Ségur investment operations, at a time when recourse to borrowing is more difficult and more costly”. “In the short term, there is still time to avoid the worst », they plead. They call on the public authorities to “compensate for the high inflation” of 2023 and to “return to public hospitals” the part of the Ondam (national objective for health insurance expenditure) reserved for hospitals but which has not been actually consumed – an amount they estimate at 800 million euros. Finally, they call for a “long-term financing strategy”.

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