France- Exemplanary health care for the elderly.

Boomers International Board: Care Givers: France- Exemplanary health care for the elderly.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message  By Anonymous on Sunday, August 31, 2003 - 06:08 pm:

France Minister Predicts More Heat Deaths
Sun Aug 31, 8:59 AM ET

By ELAINE GANLEY, Associated Press Writer

PARIS - France's health minister said in an interview to be published Sunday that people have not stopped dying from the August heat wave that seared France and he predicted the death toll will climb toward 12,000.

But Jean-Francois Mattei resisted calls for his resignation because of what critics say was a slow response to the crisis by the center-right government.

"I have nothing to hide," Mattei said in an interview with the Sunday paper Le Journal du Dimanche made available Saturday evening. But Mattei refused to respond to direct criticism while investigations are in progress.

On Friday, Mattei announced a provisional death toll of 11,435.

"It is true that we will still have 'deferred' deaths," he said in the newspaper interview, "because organisms rendered fragile have used up all their strength to fight the extreme heat."

Mattei initially estimated that the heat wave killed 1,500-3,000 people. France's largest undertaker later estimated that 10,000 people died. Government officials at first said that could be right, but later suggested the number was inflated.

Friday's figure came from the Health Surveillance Institute, which calculated the toll for the government. Mattei noted that other studies to determine the heat-related death toll were continuing.

For Mattei, the number of deaths was only part of the drama.

"What is also unbearable is the brutal revelation of a social fracture, of the solitude and isolation of the aged," he was quoted as saying. "I'm revolted by these cadavers that no one is claiming."

Up to 400 bodies remained unclaimed last week in the Paris region and city officials have said they would be interred in the Square of Indigents at the Thiais Cemetery, to be reburied elsewhere if families claim them.

The minister vowed to implement measures to prevent a repeat of the summer catastrophe once conclusions were made by parliamentary and other investigations.

"We must give some sense to these deaths, that this leads us to take all needed measures," he said.

The measures being floated include scrapping one of France's 11 annual holidays and using those tax receipts to finance health care for the elderly.
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How could it happen to a World Class country?
If it's happens here in the US ----
whoa the government would be in a hot seat.
The people here would rise up.


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