The Nîmes medical branch, which treats people in violation of their rights, celebrates 30 years of commitment

The Nîmes medical branch, which treats people in violation of their rights, celebrates 30 years of commitment

Une partie des acteurs de l’antenne médicale réunie ce jeudi matin au cinéma Le Sémaphore. Y. B.

Ce jeudi 30 mai, en matinée, une partie des acteurs de l’antenne médicale de Nîmes, fruit d’une convention passée entre la Croix-rouge et l’Association protestante d’assistance, a présenté ses actions dans le cadre de son 30e anniversaire.

For 30 years, health professionals have worked voluntarily to treat and support people in violation of their rights within the framework of the Nîmes medical branch. A project which is the result of an agreement renewed each year between the Red Cross and the APA (Protestant Assistance Association). Some of the links in this chain of solidarity gave an overview of their commitments this Thursday, May 30 in the morning, at the Le Sémaphore cinema, before the screening of the documentary "La Permanence" directed by Alice Diop.

The missions of this branch ? They relate to the reception of people without rights to social security coverage or in breach of rights, to medical services (general and specialized) or paramedical services (nursing care, vaccinations, delivery of medications), on prevention actions, health education, without forgetting social support.

Consultations from Monday to Friday

A commitment made in reaction to the application of the law of August 24, 1993 which conditions access to health insurance (read moreover the history). "For around ten doctors and nurses, it’s a real decision to be at serving the most vulnerable on a voluntary basis. […] Thus, it makes it possible to fight against exclusion, very high poverty, inequalities", confides Marie Orcel, general secretary of the APA .

Laetitia Bernard, from the medical branch of the Red Cross, insisted on the opening from Monday to Friday with consultations of general practitioners without appointment: &amp ;quot;Once a week there may be consultations with a psychiatrist, psychologist, dentist and once a month with an osteopath. We are also looking for dentists and a physiotherapist." Translators would also be very useful for an audience arriving from abroad.

Director of the exclusion center at the French Red Cross, Malik Berkani, recalled for his part the effectiveness of this system, a real model which has made the subject of two ministerial visits, but which remains fragile because it calls on the volunteers of doctors: "30 years ago, it must have been temporary. Unfortunately, we're still there! At any time, this device can stop."The Red Cross ensures that it has funding and partners.

Unaccompanied minors

These 30 years of the medical antenna should also make this system even more visible to the population. Concern also relates to plans to review the deadline for opening rights to State medical aid, to the increase over the past five years in unaccompanied minors, ;rsquo;state of health of foreigners which is deteriorating due to their reception conditions.

In 2023, the medical branch recorded 2,653 visits, 1,591 people with more than 2,000 consultations with general practitioners, for example. The most serious pathologies are treated at the University Hospital, one of the partners with pharmacies, biological analysis laboratories, radiology center…

Thursday June 13, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., in the premises of 178 allée Salvador Dali, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the medical branch, a large banquet will allow exchanges between those who are being treated and the actors of this solidarity action. A festive moment which will begin at 5 p.m. In addition to the musical entertainment, a Dynamogène show will add even more lightness to the moment.

Two doctors and a nurse at the origin of the medical branch

In the context of the law of August 24, 1993 which conditions access to health insurance, doctors from Nîmes like doctors Francis Duntze (from a family of Resistance fighters), Penchinat and nurse Suzanne Arnal created the medical branch before receiving support in early 1994 from the Protestant Assistance Association. In search of larger premises, Apa approached the Red Cross. An agreement is signed between the two organizations. Since 2016, the medical antenna has been installed at Allee Salvador Dali in new premises.

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