“We will not abandon the population, but we will need users to denounce this situation: the calibration of the workforce no longer allows patients to be received in good conditions”, denounced Olivier Terrien, secretary general of the CGT at the Nantes University Hospital.

“Patients sometimes wait 72 hours on stretchers, there are 40 children to operate in heart surgery by the end of the year, for 11 operating ranges, how do we do? We draw lots?” he irritates against an “authoritarian” direction.

“The surgeons ask for additional operating periods, the management refuses and the patients go to the clinic, where the largest portfolio is treated” he regrets, “it is the project of the management, that of the government”.

Striking staff assigned by management will welcome patients on Monday morning and during school holidays, a period of limited staff, “but at the start of the school year we are planning punching actions”, adds the 52-year-old caregiver.

“The working conditions are deteriorating, the colleagues are exhausted, psychologically things are not going well”, according to Stéphane Naulleau, 57, nurse in cardiac surgery and general secretary of the Force Ouvrière (FO) union at the CHU.

“The discontent started a few days ago with an article in which Philippe El Saïr, general manager of the Nantes University Hospital, said that the University Hospital was attractive for caregivers, that there were no bed closures” continues the trade unionist FO, “or 16 beds were still closed in October”.

Contacted by AFP, management could not be reached immediately.

Mr. Terrien compiles the figures: “The ARS (Regional Health Agency, editor’s note) itself says it: between 2015 and 2020, 700 surgery beds were closed, it is the most profitable and what seeks to absorb the private sector, but also 200 in obstetrics, 215 in psychiatry, 200 in follow-up care and rehabilitation”.

A situation that will not improve with the construction of the future University Hospital of the Island of Nantes “which will give rise to a new closure of 63 beds”, he warns.