André Grimaldi

My Battle for Health Putting an End to 20 Years of Neglect Publication date : October 13, 2021

André Grimaldi is emeritus professor of diabetology at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, and founder of the Collectif Inter-Hôpitaux. He is the co-author of Santé: Urgence [Health: Emergency]; La Vérité sur vos médicaments [The Truth About Your Medications]; Les Maladies chroniques. Vers la troisième médecine [Chronic Illnesses: Toward the Third Medical Realm]; and Manifeste pour une santé égalitaire et solidaire [Manifesto for Equitable and Inclusive Health].

The pandemic has shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of our health system: on the one hand, the personnel is extremely well-trained, mobilized, inclusive, serves the public; and on the other, it is a “business” overwhelmed by the situation, primarily because we have not constructed a true health system for patients suffering from chronic illnesses, the primary victims of the virus, and for prevention, what is called “public health.” “No stocking, just flow,” that was one of the key slogans of the neoliberal management of hospitals. Looking at scandals and absurdities, André Grimaldi dissects the disastrous consequences of the austerity policies and of the privatization of our common good.

Of course, this does not mean escaping the regulation of health costs. But it is our very system that has become so expensive: what are the costs of management and of unjustified procedures (the hospital is paid for each intervention)? As a reminder, France is one of the countries that devotes the largest portion of its GDP to health (11%, 3rd in line after the United States and Switzerland). Also as a reminder, only a health system that is equitable and inclusive can enable excellent medical treatment.

This book draws ten lessons from the Covid crisis, and offers ten proposals to reestablish the public health service.

To improve the appropriateness of care, organize a true, unified public system over the entire territory, support our scientific research, construct a Europe of health care…

Everything is here for what comes next, and to better confront the future of health crises which unfortunately are likely to occur.