A call for donations from the Parisian Georges-Pompidou hospital to buy a “revolutionary” scanner causes controversy

This fundraising campaign published on X Thursday by the AP-HP did not fail to provoke a reaction. Les Républicains MP Yannick Neuder, a doctor by profession, evokes a “gruesome” situation, where “the hospital must now ask for charity to obtain care equipment”.


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A photonic counting scanner in Lyon, April 29, 2019. (JOEL PHILIPPON / MAXPPP)

A call for donations that goes badly. The Parisian Georges-Pompidou hospital launched on X, Thursday December 28, a crowdfunding campaign to acquire a photon counting scanner, a “revolutionary imaging process”. This new device would represent a major scientific advance” in many specialties, in particular cardiology, vascular diseases, oncology and osteoarticular pathologies, details the Public Assistance of Paris Hospitals (AP-HP).

If the hospital manages to raise enough money to purchase this device, it will be the first establishment to have one in the Paris region and the third in France, according to the AP-HP. The first of its kind was installed in Lyon hospitals in 2019, at a cost of 1.4 million euros, compared to 0.5 and 1.2 million euros for a classic scanner, according to France 3 Rhône-Alpes. For patients, this new technology allows a reduction in the irradiation dose of “40 to 50% compared to a standard scanner”or “better monitoring of cancers and earlier detection of recurrences” and an “reduction in the use of certain invasive examinations”like surgery or chemotherapy, promises AP-HP.

Donations are only “support”, reacts the AP-HP

However, in a tense budgetary context for the public hospital, the initiative makes some people cringe, particularly among elected officials. Thomas Portes, deputy for La France insoumise (Seine-Saint-Denis), points to X “the ravages of austerity policies”regretting that a public hospital is “forced to appeal for donations to finance the purchase of a scanner”. The NGO Attac goes in the same direction, believing that if “the ultra-rich and multinational companies paid their fair share of tax”public hospitals “would not need to appeal for donations to finance themselves”.

On the right, the Les Républicains de l’Isère deputy, Yannick Neuder, a professional doctor, discusses a situation “ubuesque”Or “the hospital must now ask for charity to obtain treatment equipment”. National Rally deputy for Pas-de-Calais Emmanuel Blairy points out the “catastrophic management of public funds by the government”. “The French nevertheless pay taxes”also emphasizes on X the far-right elected official.

Contacted by franceinfo, the AP-HP recalls that patronage and donations are only one “support” to acquire this equipment, which it finances “overwhelmingly”, without however specifying the amounts. The establishment emphasizes that the same call for donations for this scanner had been shared on his social networks end of November, without sparking controversy. Furthermore, this is not the first time that he has chosen such an initiative. A fundraising campaign launched in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis made it possible to raise more than 41 million euros between March 12 and May 18, 2020, according to the AP-HP foundation.

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