May 17, 2020 / 10:03 AM / 17 days ago

French Health Minister promises new hospital support plan by summer

French Health and Solidarity Minister Olivier Veran delivers a speech as he presents the details for the end of the country's lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Hotel Matignon in Paris, France May 7, 2020. Christophe Archambault/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Sunday he wanted to unveil by summer a new support plan for French hospitals and health workers who have been on the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with French Sunday weekly Le Journal Du Dimanche (JDD), Veran said consultations with social partners and health representatives would start from May 25.

“I want to go fast. I want the plan to be presented this summer, to include everything that can be presented in the next Social Security budget,” he said.

The new plan would increase the wages of health workers beyond recent bonuses awarded during the coronavirus crisis, he said.

“The nation will have to make a major effort to recognize their role,” he said.

The plan will also involve a reorganisation of investments and create a more flexible working time framework.

“If hospital staff want to work more and increase their wages, it must be possible. For that we must review the organisation of working time in hospitals,” he said.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Jan Harvey

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