In Ille-et-Vilaine, a new village faces medical desertification

A deserted nursing home

Billé, 1,047 inhabitants, is not the end of the world: even at rush hour, you can reach Rennes in forty minutes, Vitré in fifteen, Fougères in less than ten. However, the village has just become a medical desert: one of the two general practitioners in the town, who had been working there as a replacement (by choice) for three years, announced at the start of the school year that he would cease his consultations at the end of September. Her colleague also preferred to leave rather than continue alone, even if the vast village health center, built in 2015 by the intercommunal union bringing together Billé and the villages of Parcé and Combourtillé, also has seven nurses and two physiotherapists. Their 1,500 patients found themselves without a referring doctor, and were asked to retrieve their medical files on a USB key.

Difficult replacements

The luckiest patients found another GP willing to follow them, “On average 20 kilometers from Billé”, explains the mayor, Daniel Balluais. Others come to see him or call him, for lack of a solution. Replacing two practitioners promises to be complicated, despite the favorable conditions, described in a message on the SOS Villages website: the municipality “User-friendly”, the semi-rural patient population “Very pleasant and enriching”, the nursing home to the multidisciplinary team “Dynamic”, to rents “Moderate” and shared charges. No one has come forward. With the other elected officials of the intercommunality, Daniel Balluais brought together local health actors, posted an expensive ad on a specialized site: “We are ready to study all the solutions, including occasional doctor’s calls, and to pay a doctor who would set up shop. ”

A general trend

If Daniel Balluais and his constituents are worried, it is because their village in north-eastern Brittany is far from an isolated case. “A local municipality has been looking for a doctor for five years, yet it has also invested in a nursing home.. » Nationally, 11% of the population (7.4 million people) live in a municipality that is under-provided with general practitioners, an increase of 2.5 points in three years, according to a study by the management of the research, studies, evaluation and statistics (Dress) in February 2020. Numerous measures attempt to encourage doctors to settle in these territories – bonuses, tax exemption, facilitation of networking, creation of nursing homes. health… -, with insufficient results. Especially since the general trend is deteriorating: more than half of general practitioners are 55 years old or over and the facilities are not sufficient to compensate for retirements.

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The Assembly gets involved

For MP Thierry Benoit (UDI), the departure of doctors from Billé, located in his constituency, served as a” trigger “ : he tabled on November 30, with 54 deputies, a bill against medical desertification. Like a bill by Communist Sébastien Jumel, which was to be debated on December 2 in the Assembly, it aims to force young doctors to start their careers in an under-endowed area. Jacques Battistoni, president of the first union of general practitioners, MG France, advocates for his part the development of the profession of medical assistant, in order to help each practitioner to follow 1,500 to 2,000 patients, as in Germany or the Netherlands.
He will also propose, during the MG France conference this weekend, to extend the internship of future general practitioners by one year in liberal offices spread over the entire territory. To arouse vocations, but without constraining.

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