The Senate votes in favor of decentralizing “school medicine”

On Wednesday, March 20, the Senate adopted a text intended to transfer from the State to the departments the competence of “school medicine” to respond to difficulties in accessing school medical check-ups, a proposal periodically presented to the Upper House but rejected so far by the government.

The bill by centrist senator Françoise Gatel plans to rely, during an experimental period of five years, on voluntary departments, “Competence and obligations of school medicine in relation to health checks and health promotion in schools”. The conditions of this transfer of skills and credits would be concluded through an agreement, with the provision of state services. ” free “.

Placed under the supervision of national education, school medicine aims to guarantee health promotion in schools, through medical monitoring of students, prevention actions within establishments and screening examinations. To do this, it relies on “national education doctors”school nurses and social workers.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers. Lack of nurses and shortage of doctors, school health in crisis

“Deep reform”

Given the shortage and territorial disparities – 46% of school doctor positions are currently vacant, according to figures presented to the Senate –, “It is necessary to deeply reform, clarify the system, decentralize it”urged Gatel, supported in all seats, even within the Renacimiento group.

The Minister of Education, Nicole Belloubet, recognized the “significant difficulties” facing the sector, but highlighted the “Risk of complexity in the distribution of skills in education” between the State and local authorities and fears new resignations of school doctors.

Nineteen departments have already expressed interest in this experience, according to a count by the Assembly of Departments of France. The text adopted in the Senate is now transmitted to the National Assembly, without certainty that it will be included in the agenda.

The world with AFP

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