Emmanuel Macron engaged furiously with several frustrated and exhausted doctors and nurses during a visit to a struggling hospital on Friday. The French president was confronted by furious medical workers, who berated Mr. Macron for his response to the coronavirus crisis. However, Macron retaliated against the doctors and nurses, shouting that their claims were “false” and “lies.”
He went to the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital after the hospitals were quickly swamped by tens of thousands of coronavirus patients.
French doctors took advantage of the visit to demand more investment and to rethink the country’s public health system.
The French president acknowledged that mistakes had been made, in particular cuts that had deprived the medical facilities of one of the richest countries in the world of personnel, protective equipment and ventilators.
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In a conversation, a nurse told the French leader, “Mr. Macron, we needed the coronavirus to happen so that you could realize that hospitals are suffering. “
The French president replied: “No, it’s not true, it’s a lie”.
The nurse replied: “We are the shame of Europe. We are suffering. We do not have the necessary equipment. “
Mr. Macron then tries to end the conversation by saying to the nurse, “Can I finish because I really have to go. “
However, frustration at French hospitals had exploded before the virus epidemic, with several strikes and demonstrations taking place last year following layoffs.
On Friday, during his visit, Macron said: “We have undoubtedly made a mistake in the strategy.”
The French government has announced that it will pay bonuses of 1,500 euros to all health workers and has promised a special “engagement medal” to all those on the front line of COVID-19.
The unions responded by insisting that “hospitals don’t need medals, they need funding.”