Toulouse: the time of the last consultations at the Maison Médicale de La Grave which closes definitively on May 31

Home Toulouse: the time of the last consultations at the Maison Médicale de La Grave which closes definitively on May 31
Written by Doug Hampton

the essential
The La Grave Medical Center, which receives more than 10,000 patients a year, will close its doors permanently on May 31. A decision of the Regional Health Agency and the Council of the Order of Physicians which is not unanimous.

It is not the incessant coming and going of Purpan emergencies, on this sunny Sunday, May 28, but from 10 a.m., couples with children, single people, arrive. From 8 p.m. to midnight every evening of the week, such as weekends, the Medical Center of La Grave, opened in 2003 on the site of the hospital of the same name, near the Saint-Pierre bridge in Toulouse, will close permanently. its doors, Wednesday, May 31.

The feeling of desolation is palpable among the general practitioners who have been taking turns there for twenty years. More than 10,000 patients per year are affected by this closure, following a joint decision by the Regional Health Agency (ARS) and the departmental council of the Order of Physicians who, moreover, announce “to strengthen the permanent care arrangements in Haute-Garonne”.

Twelve medical centers at the end of 2023

The department, recalls the ARS, will go from four medical centers to twelve at the end of 2023. Openings are planned in particular in Cornebarrieu, Saint-Orens-de-Gameville, L’Union, Lagardelle-sur-Lèze and Villefranche-de-Lauragais. For Doctor Jean-François Reinard, president of the Maison Médicale de Garde de La Grave association, the closure of the oldest medical center in Toulouse remains an enigma.

“The ARS has decided to stop funding us”

He receives guests in a lackluster office, a stone’s throw from the Dôme de La Grave and the imposing Kaufman & Broad real estate project that is transforming the Saint-Cyprien district. “This closure does not come from us, the doctors of the medical house, he explains. The ARS has decided to stop our funding, ie 85,000 euros, we can no longer work. We have an operating budget of 125,000 euros, but most of this sum corresponds to the secretariat. We saved money because the La Grave hospital housed us for free”.

To compensate for this closure, the ARS and the Council of the Order of Physicians are opening a medical center at the Purpan hospital where the emergency department receives more than 50,000 patients per year, as provided for in the emergency overhaul pact. The latter indicating “that a medical house must be positioned next to an emergency service welcoming more than 50,000 patients a year”.

For thousands of patients in Toulouse, this move of the healthcare offer will not settle the question of the medical desert. In Colomiers alone, the town is about to lose twelve doctors in the next two years.

The PS “questions the relevance of this choice”

The municipal councilor of the opposition Antoine Maurice notes that “more than one out of two Toulouse residents lives in a medical desert, with an average of 121 practitioners per 100,000 inhabitants”. And the socialist party wonders “about the relevance of this choice in a context where access to a doctor is more and more complicated”.

Finally, the concern of seeing the Medical Center of La Grave disappear was expressed, Friday, May 26, in front of the headquarters of ARS Occitanie, rue du Raisin in Toulouse. Several dozen caregivers demonstrated to say “stop to social inequalities” and demand the maintenance of the medical center where they have been working for twenty years.

“Closing the establishment will cost us the trifle of 50,000 euros, adds Jean-François Reinard. We have a secretary who has been there for nineteen years. There is the whole social aspect to manage. We were funded by the ARS until March, we couldn’t go beyond May 31. We know that the Maison Médicale de la Faourette, on the other hand, has obtained the means to pay the penalties of the doctors. What we were denied”.

“The permanence of care is reinforced” in the department, assure the ARS and the Order of Physicians

“The closure announced by the doctors of the medical center of La Grave corresponds to an individual will of these professionals, and to the refusal on their part to register in compliance with the new specifications of the permanence of care”. This is the official message communicated, on May 23, by the Regional Health Agency (ARS) and the departmental council of the Order of Physicians 31 concerning the closure, on May 31, of the La Grave medical center. The health authorities ensure that the department will be equipped with twelve medical centers compared to four today, as part of the “strengthening of permanent care systems”. They specify: “In Toulouse, the care offer has also greatly expanded, since the financing of on-call doctors has been more than doubled, allowing the simultaneous mobilization of 7 doctors to ensure the continuity of care, instead of 3 previously”.

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