Students, doctors help with French heatwave

25th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 24, 2006 (AFP) - French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand on Monday appealed to medical students and retired doctors to help reinforce emergency health services during the heatwave underway in the country.

PARIS, July 24, 2006 (AFP) - French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand on Monday appealed to medical students and retired doctors to help reinforce emergency health services during the heatwave underway in the country.

Bertrand said that medical services were being stretched by demand from victims of the heatwave, which has already killed 23 people and is entering its second week

"Today, we have tensions in certain services with as much as 20 percent more activity than normal and we know that situations can change quickly, indeed very quickly," he said.

"It is not a question of waiting for a spike in heat on Wednesday to take additional measures."

Heat-related deaths in France have raised memories of a fatal bout of baking temperatures in 2003 that killed 15,000 people in the country and led to criticism of the government's response.

Bertrand asked the students and retired doctors to back up the French first-aid services and emergency wards in hospitals "in order to reinforce the teams already in place, always as a preventative measure."

On Monday, the French state-run weather centre Meteo-France warned that temperatures would rise further this week and maintained an orange alert, the second-highest warning level, for about half of the country.

In the southeast of France, temperatures were forecast to reach as high as 38 degrees Celsius before falling from Thursday onwards.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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