Access to care service: what is this tool supposed to relieve emergency room congestion?

Gabriel Attal announced the generalization of SAS to all territories to relieve hospital emergency services.

Access to care service: what is this tool supposed to relieve emergency room congestion?

Gabriel Attal announced the generalization of SAS to all territories to relieve hospital emergency services. What does this new device consist of?

“As of this summer, each department must be equipped with an access to care service, with professionals organized to ensure the permanence of care,” declared Gabriel Attal on Tuesday January 30 in his general policy speech to the Assembly. The establishment of this new access to care service was initiated by the former Minister of Health François Braun in 2020, with a pilot phase in several departments. We explain to you what it consists of.

The SAS is a “new service for guiding the population in their care pathway”, explains the Ministry of Health on its website. “For the patient faced with a need for urgent or unscheduled care and when access to their attending physician is not possible, the SAS must provide access, at any time and remotely, to a healthcare professional” , it is specified. The professional on the other end of the line can then either “provide medical advice”, or “offer a teleconsultation”, or direct them towards “an unscheduled care consultation” from local medicine, or “towards an emergency service”. , or even “trigger the intervention of a SMUR or medical transport.”

Based on a partnership between town doctors and SAMU hospital emergencies, the SAS must relieve emergency room congestion by directing the population before their arrival at hospital services. If the situation described on the telephone does not require emergency care, operators are able to make an appointment with a local doctor or other health professional.

“The SAS is 15, this telephone number that each of our fellow citizens knows,” said the new Minister of Health Catherine Vautrin, Wednesday January 31, on RMC. "At the end of the phone, you have someone who is a regulatory doctor, who has the ability to respond to your situation and decide what can be done for you, where you should go and what you must do." The minister indicated that the objective was to go from 60 centers to “around a hundred” by the summer. The only problem is that this new service requires new recruitment, at a time when there is already a shortage of caregivers.

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