Lille Utopia

Meeting in Bois Blancs

Our last meeting saw us visting the Bois Blanc, site of the new porte de plaisance currently in the process of being built. While a lot of discussion revolved around the legislative elections, we ended up making health care the topic of the evening.

Volt Lille - Utopia 2026 - Bois Blancs

There are a lot of aspects touching health and care, especially during an ongoing pandemic, but if we're to name what came to everyone's mind, it was medical deserts, which also exist in the MEL region, long waiting times, the difficulties to find a general practitioner and on the other side, the working conditions of our medical staff, most notably in hospitals. A lot of fingerpointing is being done on regional level, but seemingly without really much progress being made.

Local health care in the 21st century

What would our ideal health service in the future would look like? We've noted down the following ideas:

  • Switch to an obligation of consulting with any general practioner instead of the treating doctor. If we would have our medical history on our card vitale, we would not need a treating doctor, rather we could share the medical history with any practitioner. In many cases the personal relationship with a doctor is important, but in many cases it is not. Going through a general practitioner should not be an obstacle to receiving health care, so a digital patient file would allow to simplify access.
  • Make use of telemedicine ubiquitious. A more widespread use of telemedicine would allow general practitioners to help out across the MEL region and beyond. In case a visit is not required for a consultation, a more widespread use of telemedicine would allow to better cover the territory. In the same way there is a nighttime medical service, we could also envision a 24/7 telemedicine service available on the MEL level.
  • Allow medical staff to provide mobile services. We were discussing to improve training of medical staff and having a mobile medical service that could fullfil tasks not requiring a doctor with patients in the countryside (eg taking blood pressure, etc).
  • Caring for our elderly in a dignified way. In other countries, care for elderly is much more humane than the French system of EHPADs. Denmark for example focussed on providing help to remain active, healthy and living at home. Their EHPAD equivalents over time turned into activity centers for seniors as overall health and requirement for hospitalisation decreased. We would like to also make prevention and remaining an active part of society a policy for our care facilities.
  • Charge for accessing emergency services if other alternatives haven't been consulted before. Finally we discussed the justification for charging entry fees when requesting help at the hospital urgence. We decided it was a question of accessible alternatives in case of a perceived emergency. A 24/7 telemedicine hotline or a more dense network of Health Houses with night time services would go a long way to providing citizens the first point of contact for medical services that is apparently often missing.

While a lot of these points are not necessarily the domain of the municipalite of the MEL, we still wanted to note them down and make them the basis of our further reflection on providing health and care services.