MEPs adopt proposals for old age but ask for “means”

Suspended since mid-April, the examination of a bill proposed by Emmanuel Macron on old age resumed, Monday, November 20, in the National embly with the adoption of new articles on home help and nursing homes, despite strong criticism from the opposition, and even in the presidential camp, regarding a lack of ambition in the face of the challenge of aging.

This text has a dimension “societal” against “mistreatment” elderly people and to facilitate “visiting rights” loved ones in nursing homes, after the trauma of many families during the Covid-19 crisis, underlined the Minister of Solidarity, Aurore Bergé.

It also aims to “make daily work easier” home help, via a professional card. At the end of the day, the deputies adopted an article for the payment of annual financial istance to the departments, in order to support the transport costs of home help professionals.

Financial istance for mobility

Against the advice of the government, the deputies adopted an amendment from Astrid Panosyan-Bouvet (Renaissance) to condition financial mobility istance allocated by the State to departments which allow travel time counting as working time to be extended at a duration of less than thirty minutes (compared to less than fifteen minutes).

The embly also adopted a government proposal to allow departments to experiment with financing home help by package, rather than by the hourly rate in force. The idea is to better take into account certain costs which would not yet be taken into account.

Aurore Bergé announced, on this occasion, the launch of an information mission on the organization and financing of home help. If the oppositions largely voted for the measure, they jointly denounced the lack of announcements on the ” means “ allocated. “If you don’t answer the question “how much”, it will be in vain”launched François Ruffin.

Management of nursing homes

The question of financing a vast reform on old age weighed on the debates. When the debates resumed on Monday, Aurore Bergé insisted on the “100 million additional euros” arrows for “mobility istance for home helpers”.

“These are crumbs”retorted François Ruffin. “It will be necessary to increase compulsory contributions to finance the old age reform”also warned Jérôme Guedj (PS).

In the evening, the embly also adopted consensual measures so that a greater part of the financing of nursing homes can go towards the prevention of loss of autonomy or malnutrition, and physical activities or cognitive stimulation.

But the left is calling for a vast reform of nursing homes, and the rest to be borne by residents and their families. A socialist amendment, adopted with the support of the government, aims to prevent the tacit renewal of nursing home authorizations whose evaluations have revealed problems.

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MEPs will resume on Tuesday with the examination of other amendments on nursing homes, aimed at drawing lessons from the Orpea scandal.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers One year after the Orpea scandal, multiple and fragile measures

A “more ambitious” programming law

Friday, by presenting a government strategy to address the aging of the population, the minister responded to one of the recurring demands of the text’s detractors, by announcing a future more ambitious programming law on old age. On Monday, she pleaded on “a text co-written with all political groups”.

Even in the majority, questions arise. “Did we really need it?” of this bill before “a great law of programming? Not many people understand much about it”said Bruno Millienne (MoDem).

Promised by Emmanuel Macron at the start of his first five-year term, and demanded by professionals in the sector, this programming law was unanimously requested by the embly in April.

She “will set a framework, objectives to be achieved by 2030 and financing arrangements”, according to the minister. In 2030, one in three French people will be over 60 years old. And there will be more people over 65 than those under 15.

The World with AFP

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