Taxi drivers march against carpooling of medical patients

by time news

2023-12-11 14:27:57
Taxi snail operation in Bayonne, Monday December 11, 2023. GAIZKA IROZ / AFP

Taxi artisans demonstrated on Monday, December 11, against the new Social Security finance law, which plans to pool the journeys of medical patients.

At the call of the National Taxi Union, hundreds of drivers marched across France, slowing down or blocking traffic on the main roads of Paris, Marseille and Bordeaux. In Bordeaux, around a hundred taxis carried out road blockade operations, noted a journalist from Agence France-Presse. A snail operation notably took place on the A7, which crosses Marseille, according to the newspaper The Marseillaise.

In Ile-de-France, despite slowdowns on the A1 or the A4, traffic remained at its usual level of traffic jams, according to the Sytadin website.

These taxis oppose an article in the Social Security budget (PLFSS), passed forcefully in Parliament at the beginning of December. The government wants to encourage patients to accept an offer of medical transport (light medical vehicle or approved taxi) shared with another patient, through an online platform.

Loss of turnover

Without a valid medical reason to refuse it, patients must advance expenses, and will only be reimbursed based on the price of shared transportation. This measure would cause taxis to lose certain journeys, particularly in rural areas, where medical transport represents a significant part of their turnover.

With those “medical shuttles”, “medical care would be taken away from us”explained Sergio Valleret, taxi driver, in front of Bordeaux station. “People undergoing chemo or dialysis, they don’t want to wait three or four hours in a livestock truck”curses another driver, who wants to remain anonymous, among the twenty taxis blocking the streets in front of Saint-Jean station.

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For Fatima Faida, president of the Saat (Autonomous taxi artisans union) of Gironde, the bill will establish a system “where the patient will become a simple number in an algorithm” et “unfair competition” against taxis who already do “shared transport, with a human side”. It requires a system where “the patient has the free choice of their carrier”.

She is waiting for up to 350 taxis, coming from the neighboring departments of Charente and Dordogne, to also block the Health Insurance headquarters and Mérignac airport.

The Social Security budget was definitively adopted on Monday, December 4 in the National Assembly. A final motion of censure was rejected after a run of 49.3, in the face of crossfire from the opposition.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers On-demand transport, an essential public service for some in rural areas: “Without that, we wouldn’t be able to move”

The World with AFP

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