Presidential Elections: Forgotten Health? – Actusoins Nursing News

The presidential campaign, marked by a very specific international context, has done little to address the health problem. But we cannot blame the sister organizations for not doing their best to impose their priorities on the debate. This article was published in ActuSoins Magazine #44 (March-April-May 2022).

© Natasha Souri for ActuSoins.

In politics, things rarely go according to plan. Many candidates, swept away when they saw themselves already elected, learned this at their own expense.

But the uncertainty that affects the participants in the elections also applies to issues resolved during the election campaign.

Proof: in 2022, after two years of a global pandemic that has affected the daily lives of all French people, we could bet that health will be at the center of discussions between contenders for the Elysee Palace.

Strange, but nothing happened… This does not mean that the educators did not mobilize to express their concern. But the object encountered a strong headwind.


During the pandemic, we talked about the hospital crisis, the lack of respirators, medicines, staff, but in a rather discouraging way, these topics are not touched upon in the context of the campaign.notes sociologist Frédéric Pierrou, CNRS researcher and health policy specialist. We’re back on a heavy trend: avoiding health issues during parliamentary and presidential elections.. »

The disadvantage, which, in his opinion, stems from ” caricature form of depoliticization of health issues “.

curious eclipse

This analysis is shared by Christophe Deboux, Nurse Anesthetist (Iade), Head of Health, Nursing Researcher and Fellow of the Law and Health Institute.

It seems that in this campaign, health topics are relegated to the background.he regrets. It has to do with political debates that focus more on the individuals who are running than on their programs, and of course the international situation, with the war in Ukraine naturally polarizing each other’s interests.. »

To be fair to candidates, their programs don’t completely forget major health issues: the critical state of the hospital workforce, the medical desert situation, white coat career advancement, and even nursing education. often referred to in full.

But whether the responsibility lies with the choices made by the candidates during their speeches or with the journalists’ questions, one thing is clear: these are not topics that polarize attention.


Important topics skipped

The most serious polls show that health is one of the two main concerns of the French.Frédéric Pierre notes. However, I did not hear a single really important statement about the place of the hospital, about city medicine … »

And even when it comes to health, it is not necessary to focus on the most pressing topics, the sociologist regrets. ” There are inevitable themes, such as the failure of an outpatient shift or dependence on outside sources of pharmaceutical products, that are nonetheless ignored. “, he laments.

Christophe Deboux, for his part, notes that the rare occasions when health-related topics are touched upon come from the narrow end of the telescope. ” Unfortunately, health problems are not considered from a more systemic point of view. ‘, lamented Jada.

He believes, for example, that on the question of medical merit, the discussion should not be about the limits of the freedom of the establishment of doctors, as is often the case, but about whether the available forces are well used. ” We train professionals, and in particular nurses, with a high level of competence, we prepare them for a certain degree of autonomy, but in practice these professionals are limited and underused. ‘, says the researcher.

Dead end in matters of loyalty

Another example: Christophe Deboux admits that in order to solve the problem of human resources, it is certainly important to recruit people en masse, as almost all candidates assume when they timidly decide to approach this issue.

But it is also necessary to take an interest in the problem of loyalty, which, according to him, very often goes unnoticed.

If we look at the Parcoursup numbers, we can only see that the nursing profession is very attractive.he notes. But often from the first internship, students experience a shock.. »

This is the first symptom of the phenomenon of exhaustion that the profession has encountered, the nurse notes.. How to bridge the gap between our idea of ​​work and reality?he continues. How to make sure that the professional environment stops deteriorating? »

Sister organizations on the bridge

There are so many issues that are almost systematically overlooked in the candidates’ speeches … that it does not give up the organizations representing the profession of nursing.

We even witnessed from their side at the beginning of the campaign a real flowering of platforms, requirements, recommendations and other lists of proposals.

For example, the National Order of Nurses (ONI) presented on February 14 ten recommendations for the use of candidates. Liberal Nursing Unions (Idels) have not been left out: the National Union of Liberal Nurses (Snil), the National Federation of Nurses (FNI) and the Autonomous Union of Liberal Nurses (Saiel) each presented their arsenal of proposals at the beginning of the year. The French College of Nursing (CIF) released in February a list of requirements for applicants for the Elysee Palace …

A group of organizations made up of the French National Association of Nurses and Students (Anfiide), the National Association of Nurses and Students in Nursing (ANPDE), the National Federation of Nursing Students (Fnesi), the Joint Committee of Nurses and the Executive. The training (Cefiec), the National Union of Ibode Associations (Unaibode) and the National Union of Ibode (Snibo) even went so far as to invite candidate representatives to speak during an online show that was broadcast live for a full day at the beginning. Martha.

Only five of the twelve participants sent their representatives, but this event was a key moment to draw attention to nursing issues.

Unanimity at the first nurse call

A remarkable fact is that despite the apparent confusion in which they were presented, the ideas put forward by these various sister organizations went in the same direction.

Thus, the creation of the role of a reference nurse, as a general practitioner or a reference pharmacist, is found in almost all works. The same for the development of the well-known primary care nurse.

As for expanding skills (vaccination, nursing advice, prescribing, etc.), everyone thought about this too.

A wonderful and hopeful unanimity: the candidates, beyond their apparent indifference to health care concerns, are yet somehow affected by the coherent message that the profession seeks to convey in such diverse forms.

The next president, even if he does nothing on the campaign trail, may well remember nursing when the time comes.


Adrian Renault

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