Chirac demands French psychiatric hospital overhaul

20th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 20 (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac on Monday called for an overhaul of France's psychiatric hospitals after the horrific murder of two nurses in an institution last week.

PARIS, Dec 20 (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac on Monday called for an overhaul of France's psychiatric hospitals after the horrific murder of two nurses in an institution last week.

His spokesman said Chirac told ministers of his "indignation" over the "barbaric" slayings of the nurses, who were found in a blood-spattered room Saturday morning at a psychiatric hospital in Pau, southwest France.

The head of one had been cut off and placed on a television set and the other's throat had been slit.

"They were savagely murdered in the duty of one of the most noble and most difficult jobs in the public health service," Chirac said.

He added that "profound changes" were needed in the sector, notably in terms of treating patients and providing security for staff.

The grisly act has prompted demands that mental wards have alarm systems directly linked to the nearest police station.

Police were meanwhile hunting for the nurses' killer. An autopsy of their bodies yielded some clues, as did blood found on a hospital window used as an exit by the perpetrator.

News of the double homicide filled front pages of French newspapers Monday, with articles also highlighting a decline of staff for psychiatric institutions and a rise in the number of patients.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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