From the supply issues of important vaccines to the shortage of available doctors and delays in making hospital appointments, Health Minister Christophe Robino has addressed some of the key challenges in the Principality.
A press conference was held on Thursday 5th October at the Ministry of State in Monaco. Its purpose was a presentation of the work of the Ministry for Social Affairs and Health in the Principality, and Health Minister Christophe Robino led the discourse on the challenges currently facing his department as well as the advancements and progress it has made.
Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace
High on the agenda was addressing the shortage of doctors at the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace (CHPG), which is most felt within the fields of general medicine, rheumatology, pulmonology, psychiatry and child psychiatry, according to the minister.
Robino also made mention of the complaints he has received from members of the public, who say they are not able to book appointments in a timely manner. The minister said he is seeking to improve this in areas where there was a “proven need… particularly in gynaecology-obstetrics and soon in paediatrics”.
He also touched on the building of the new hospital, which he says is on track to be ready for occupation in 2025 before the next phase kicks in, which will include the demolition of the old facility. It should be fully completed by 2031/32.
Availability of vaccines
Robino used the press event to announce that 3,000 doses of the latest Covid vaccine would be arriving in Principality the coming days, and would be available from the Centre Monégasque de Dépistage.
He said that the vaccine was recommended given the “slight upsurge linked to the circulation of the Eris variant, [a] sub-variant of Omicron”.
Additional inoculation campaigns due soon include those against flu and papillomavirus (HPV). On the list is also a monoclonal antibody jab called Beyfortus, which can provide protection against bronchiolitis. At the moment, it is only available in very small numbers – there are just 34 doses currently in Monaco – due to an issue importing the vaccine from France.
“As part of the 2017 Health Cooperation Agreement [with France], we have discussions via diplomatic channels with the French authorities to benefit employees who are insured in Monaco,” said Robino of the current situation.
France’s supply is strictly for the use of French social security beneficiaries, but 300 more doses are on order now for Monaco residents.
In addition to these challenges, there have been many positive advances made over the past year in the Principality that give reason to celebrate.
These notably included the creation of a dedicated Delegate for Disabilities within the Ministry.
“We have decided to install a delegate within the disability department whose mission is to put in place a five-year plan to improve the inclusion of people with reduced mobility,” said Robino, who is set to make the formal announcement of his appointee, Lionel Galfré, on International Day of Persons with Disabilities later this year.
Robino confirmed that the Monegasque government is looking at a bill that will extend paternity leave to 21 days for a normal birth and 28 days for special instances. Another will soon be discussed that will allow self-employed workers to take advantage of maternity leave benefits.
Robino also said that a proposal to ban electronic cigarettes, similar to that being considered in France, is in the works.
Photo source: CHPG / Facebook