Seven out of 10 interns exceed the maximum working time, according to the Ministry of Health

They do not count their time. According to a study commissioned by the Ministry of Health and revealed by the Quotidien du Médecin, a clear majority of medical interns work more than the legal maximum set at 48 hours per week.

In a hospital deserted by their elders, the carabins are in great demand: the situation, denounced for a long time by the intern unions, is now confirmed by an OpinionWay study, carried out on behalf of the ministry between the end of July and the end of September 2021, and of which AFP obtained a copy on Thursday.

A phenomenon underestimated by hospitals

Of the 2,348 students who responded to the consultation, 70% indicated that they had worked “more than 48 hours” per week in the previous months. The legal maximum is often greatly exceeded, since 18% worked “between 48 and 51 hours” and 52% “more than 51 hours” per week.

Worse, most interns do more than their mandatory eight half-days of service. Depending on the specialty, between 76% (emergencies) and 98% (surgery) return to practice, most often for two or three additional half-days per week.

The phenomenon seems clearly underestimated by hospitals: the 252 establishments questioned in parallel declare barely 18% to 37% of students (depending on the speciality) working beyond this compulsory duration, with only one to two days in excess in the vast majority of cases.

A previous strike in June

Same divergence on night and weekend call, more frequent according to future doctors than according to their employers. However, all of them largely agree on respecting safety rest (11 hours after each on-call or on-call duty).

These results confirm those of the Intersyndicale Nationale des Internes (Isni), which had already reported an average of 58 hours per week before the Covid-19 pandemic. The organization had called for a strike in June to demand “the hourly count” of working time, also the subject of litigation at the Council of State.

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