Europe 1 with AFP 12:34 p.m., September 29, 2023

To "better protect caregivers" in hospitals and cities, the government presented Friday a plan of 42 measures including the strengthening of criminal sanctions, the development of alert devices, a poster campaign and the training of professionals.

"The safety of caregivers is a major issue. It is unacceptable that those who treat us should be attacked. It should not be a brake on the will of some to engage, "summarized the Minister Delegate for Health Professions, Agnès Firmin-Le Bodo, at a press conference.

Some "30,000 acts of violence" annually are counted in health facilities and 1,200 were counted by the Order of Physicians in 2022, figures "underestimated" because professionals report little violence, she lamented. A survey by the Order of Nurses indicates that "more than 60% say they have already been assaulted".

Three areas of work

The result of "collective work" with the Ministries of Justice, Public Service and Solidarity, this plan includes "three main axes": prevention, securing the exercise framework, supporting victims.

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"Our fellow citizens must understand that zero tolerance will be required" for physical and verbal attacks, and a poster campaign will be organized in November, said the minister.

Train 150,000 professionals in the "mental health first aid certificate"

Criminal sanctions will be "strengthened", with the creation of an "offence of contempt" against liberal professionals - which already exists for hospital workers - or the new possibility, for a director of an establishment, to join the complaint of an agent.

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The executive also wants to encourage reporting and filing complaints, and improve support for victims, for example by "systematizing" the taking of complaints in the establishment or in the office. Caregivers will be trained "in the management of aggression", to be able "upstream, to detect and prevent increasing aggressiveness", as part of continuing and initial training.

The government also aims to train 150,000 professionals in the "mental health first aid certificate" by 2025.