Midwives have been on strike since Friday September 24 and until Sunday September 26 to ask for more consideration and staffing. The movement was very followed, according to the unions. A new day of mobilization is scheduled for October 7 in Paris.
Midwives are “overworked”, “washed out” and “angry”. A new call to strike was launched this weekend, to demand more recognition and more staff. The movement was very followed, according to the National Union of Midwives (ONSSF), which lists more than half of the practices closed since Friday and more than 150 maternities out of 500 with 100% of strikers. This is already the fifth time since the start of the year that midwives have taken action.
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After several demonstrations, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran granted mid-September a salary increase of 100 euros gross per month to midwives working in the hospital, in addition to a bonus of 100 euros. But that is not enough for the strikers. The National Council of the Order of Midwives had also estimated the same evening that these announcements did not meet “the challenges of the profession”. “By not treating in depth the causes of the malaise of midwives, the attractiveness of the profession seems to be lastingly compromised,” he explained in a press release. Midwives ask for another status, a reflection on their profession and additional resources. And if they are not heard, they will not stop there because they announce a new day of mobilization on October 7 in Paris.
We are often told that we are doing the best job in the world, it would be if we were given the means to do so.
At the microphone of France Bleu Alsace, Emilie Beau, midwife for more than 15 years at the University Hospitals of Strasbourg, testifies to a real “malaise”, both the workload and the lack of recognition are important. After five years of study and multiple daily tasks, a midwife earns around 1,700 euros net per month. “I have the impression of not being respected in my skills”, slips this midwife. “We have the impression of being trampled, abounds Nadia Sabatier-Abidi, liberal midwife in Aix-les-Bains, on France Bleu Pays de Savoie. We need concrete actions. The profession no longer attracts at all: the studies last 5 years, there is a hardship at work and the remuneration does not correspond to a medical profession. Our profession must be recognized as such. “
Camille Dumortier, president of the National Union of Midwives, pleaded this Sunday on franceinfo for a sixth year of studies. “Since 2001, midwifery studies have taken five years. In 2009, there was gynecological follow-up which was added to our skills and in 2016 medical abortion. So, we end up with studies more and more compact, more and more dense, she explained. Before the health crisis, 70% of midwifery students were in burnout. Many colleagues are resuming their studies or reorienting themselves after having worked a or two years. We are often told that we are doing the best job in the world, it would be if we were given the means to do so. “
In addition, “in the hospital, they are not numerous enough”, explained Carla Charlot-Pisoni, member of the Order of Midwives of Hérault, on France Bleu Hérault. “Sometimes there are 12 patients in the delivery room and we are four midwives!”, Also testifies a midwife from the hospital of Chambéry.
The anger is so strong that in Lens, for example, 9 maternity midwives went so far as to be requisitioned by a judicial officer. They had not responded to the summons received by mail on Friday. The judicial officers therefore came to their homes this Saturday afternoon to requisition them. Among them is Emmanuelle, who wants “with this action to be heard and that our profession is finally recognized”, she explained to France Bleu Nord.
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