The first confinement, between March and May, resulted in an alarming observation: more than one in three patients had given up or delayed treatment, taking the risk of worsening their state of health.
Among them, many chronically ill, diabetic, cancerous ... The prospect, at the end of October, of a new confinement quickly mobilized;
to the point that seven Orders (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dentists, pharmacists, midwives and pedicures) launched last Monday a common appeal not to give up care.
According to our information, Doctolib, an online appointment platform, noted between Thursday, October 29, the start of the reconfinement, and Tuesday, November 3, a 30% increase in appointment cancellations and a 10% drop. at 15% of appointments.
“Specialists are particularly concerned, with 38% of appointment cancellations”, specifies Stanislas Niox-Château, president and co-founder of Doctolib.
It is a bit early to assure this, but, worryingly, it seems that these cancellations are the result of chronically ill patients, partly offset by Covid-19 patients.
Many patients do not consider themselves a priority
“Many of us have noticed an instability of the agendas since the confinement, testifies Marie Msika Razon, general practitioner in the XIVth arrondissement of Paris.
I have called many of my patients, especially the chronically ill, to tell them that the practice is open, that they should not postpone appointments.
Several told me they feared being in the office with infected patients.
Others, she continues, believe that they are not a priority, that it is necessary to leave room for the victims of the Covid.
Many cancel mistakenly believing that we are overwhelmed.
It's to the point that my appointment times have significantly shortened!
Several consequences of these cancellations are feared.
"A deterioration in the state of health of patients, a late diagnosis of pathologies such as cancer if screening is not offered, and, adds Dr Mzika Razon who also runs a family planning center, too late treatment unwanted pregnancies.
Without forgetting, she slips, the "risk of congestion of the cabinets at the exit of the confinement".
"Let's not forget our patients": the call of doctors for non-Covid patients
But all is not black.
First, we are far from the waivers of the first confinement which amounted to -44% among general practitioners, -71% among specialists.
And the booking of appointments for teleconsultations goes up: + 61% since last Friday.
“Curiously, in Germany where we are also established, neither in the first confinement nor in the second, we observed the slightest drop in consulting activity, reports the CEO of Doctolib.
But in France, official and media communication, the instructions for closing the practices of certain Orders
(Editor's note: dentists, ophthalmologists, physiotherapists, etc.)
aroused fear in people and the idea that all practices were congested or closed.
None of that in Germany.
This time, to prevent renouncements, at the request of the 135,000 health professionals subscribing to its services Doctolib has sent five million emails since last Thursday to encourage patients to keep their appointments, even if it means transforming them into teleconsultation.
Finally, an appeal signed by 110,000 healthcare professionals and initiated by doctors who are members of Doctolib's scientific council will be launched this Thursday.
The hashtag that accompanies it alone sums up the message: # Heal you ...