At the Martigues hospital center, the energy bill climbs by 2 million euros

Stéphane Burgatt, edited by Juliette Moreau Alvarez

The energy crisis is hitting an already weakened health system hard. In Martigues, the hospital saw its electricity bill increased by two million euros. However, despite the bill, it is impossible to touch the hospital’s investments, insists the director of the establishment.

REPORT

The energy crisis still persists in France, and the rise in energy prices is also impacting the health sector. Hospitals are hit with skyrocketing gas and electricity bills this year, at the risk of ultimately impacting investments. As a result, a real waste hunt has been implemented in many establishments, such as at the Martigues hospital center. About 1,500 people work in this hospital, which has seen its gas and electricity bill rise by 2 million euros this year.

“We’re going a long way”

In this half-century-old building, there are plenty of ways to save money. “We are starting from afar,” admits Hervé Nugue, technical manager, with a laugh. “I’m going to be busy for the next few years.” The technician already lists the changes he will have to tackle. “We switch everything to LED, we install presence detectors in unoccupied areas on weekends and at night, which allows us to hunt down waste.”

If the increase in the energy bill is 2 million euros, but the situation could have been much worse, according to assistant manager Anthony Gélin. “Fortunately for us, in recent years we have carried out major restructuring in the laundry and kitchens which have enabled us to reduce the gas bill by almost 75%”, he underlines.

The already strained healthcare system

The director of the health establishment refuses to pass on this bill to the investments of the Martigues hospital. “It is not possible”, launches categorically Loïc Mondoloni. “We have 25 vacant nursing positions. We could not cut any to cover energy costs. First, it would be inconceivable for the working conditions of the staff and finally, quite simply, there are sick people in a territory that suffers from a problem of medical desert.”

According to the director, without state aid, the budgetary situation of hospitals in France could well become untenable.