French surgeons begin exile in Britain

10th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 10 (AFP) - Hundreds of French surgeons boarded a Eurostar train for Britain Tuesday at the start of a four-day symbolic "exile" to protest against falling income and soaring insurance rates.

PARIS, May 10 (AFP) - Hundreds of French surgeons boarded a Eurostar train for Britain Tuesday at the start of a four-day symbolic "exile" to protest against falling income and soaring insurance rates.  

The group Surgeons of France said some 800 practitioners signed up for the protest, but railway operator SNCF said only 400 people boarded a specially chartered train at the Gare du Nord in Paris.  

The protesters plan to spend the rest of the week at the southern English resort of Camber Sands.  

Surgeons of France called off a similar action last August after reaching a compensation package with the government but now claims its terms have not been implemented.  

"The agreement was never put into effect. Surgeons feel betrayed and are determined to show it," said spokesman Philippe Cuq.  

Claiming to represent an estimated 16,000 surgeons working in private practice, Surgeons of France says that fees have remained static for 15 years while insurance payments have gone up tenfold thanks to the growing number of malpractice suits.  

Under August's deal with Health Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, an extra EUR 52 million (USD 66 million) was to be made available last year for surgeons from the national health insurance fund, but Surgeons of France claims the money has failed to materialise.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article