After eight years at the head of the Périgueux hospital, its director Thierry Lefebvre is leaving to head that of Angoulême. He leaves behind an establishment in good financial health, renovated since the end of the second phase of the work, and with significant figures (2019): 2,500 employees, 200 million euros of budget, nearly 37,000 stays, more than 113,000 consultations and 1,500 births. But he left him in the midst of a health crisis. He was the guest of France Bleu Périgord this Wednesday morning.
France Bleu: There are 146 Covid patients in Dordogne hospitals this Wednesday morning. Among them, 19 are in intensive care, which represents 62% of the department’s capacity. Is this situation sustainable, given the increase in the number of two cases that we have seen in recent weeks?
Thierry Lefebvre: It is clear that there is a small acceleration which leads us this week to increase our capacities by a few additional intensive care beds to be able to cope with admissions since at the same time, we also have very high occupancy of our resuscitation beds by other patients who do not suffer from Covid pathology. For the moment, the situation is tenable since the resuscitation capacities of the Périgueux hospital are added to those of the Francheville clinic and the Bergerac hospital. We have daily and coordinated monitoring between these three establishments.
If ever there is a need to increase capacity further, we have a plan to do so, but in the immediate future we are able to meet the needs.
You can increase resuscitation capacity, you canceled 40% of planned surgeries in a few days. Were you ready for this third wave, unlike the first?
At the origin of the first wave, it should be remembered that we had completely deprogrammed all hospital activity. Fortunately, the hospital and the region were relatively spared. We had to implement this plan in November, during the second wave. We were fully prepared to face these elements now.
Will the pandemic affect the finances of the hospital?
It undermines the finances of the hospital by the need to significantly increase the wage bill, to deal with purchases of protection, equipment, laboratory equipment, etc. This situation is more or less under control since we had the chance in 2020, and I hope that it will be the case in 2021, to have compensation from the Health Insurance, in particular with regard to the deprogramming of activity that we have been brought to do, so we should end the year 2020 globally balanced, and I obviously hope for 2021. Which makes a balanced budget position and slightly in surplus for five years for the establishment. This situation also made it possible to consolidate the establishment’s investment capacity and to be able to carry out its modernization, in particular by limiting the use of loans as much as possible.
The Périgueux hospital is in good financial health, it is not over-indebted unlike other establishments in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Does that mean that this modernization, and in particular the second phase of the work, was done a little on the cheap? Are the capacities of the Perigueux hospital currently sufficient, or could we have done more work, even if it means going into more debt?
No, the capacity of the establishment is sufficient. Especially since between the time when the second tranche was approved by the public authorities and its completion, the establishment was able to consolidate its medical capacities and its critical care capacities, and we are delighted today with the pandemic crisis. His hospitalization capacity is quite suitable to today’s care mode.
You came from Poitiers, you spent eight years in Périgueux, you go to Angoulême: do you find the Périgourdins in good health?
It is a population that needsincrease their use of the healthcare system. One of the important elements over the years that have collapsed was to try to develop public health actions and preventive actions to avoid hospitalizations in the future.