In July 2020, a law proposal was introduced by MP Agnès Firmin Le Bodo (Agir, Seine-Maritime) in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. She underlines that the first lockdown implemented in France as part of the fight against covid-19 directly led to stopping care for pathologies whose interventions are considered non-urgent.
The text specifies that the first people affected are the elderly and specifically, in particular those with cardiovascular pathologies.
The MP suggests the creation of an observatory for the return to care and specific mention of cardiovascular diseases. This national observatory on the resumption of care would be created under the supervision of Public Health France (Santé Publique France) with the support of the High Authority for Health (Haute Autorité de Santé):
- For a period of one year, it would be responsible for ensuring that care is resumed as quickly as possible. It would provide medical stakeholders with tools to organise access to healthcare, particularly for people whose consultations or operations have been postponed during the crisis.
- It would rely on the databases and registers available to learned societies, which can share their data on a voluntary basis.
- It would coordinate the care resumption committees placed in each regional health agency involving all the parties involved in medical and paramedical care: university hospital centres, hospital centres, representatives of general practitioners and specialists, pharmacists, home care nurses, medical analysis laboratories, physiotherapists. This committee would be responsible for working to ensure the smooth resumption of care, while taking into account the circulation of covid-19 in the region, and ensuring good public-private coordination, drawing on feedback from the field to identify the problems encountered, the existing obstacles to resumption and to disseminate good practices.
- Each trimester, it sends a report to the Parliament on the resumption of activity, where it can make recommendations to encourage recovery.
This proposal has for the time being been referred to the Social Affairs Committee.
Moreover, In November 2020 Senator Catherine Deroche (Republican – Maine-et-Loire, President of the Social Affairs Committee in the Senate) questioned the Minister of Solidarity and Health on the issue of surgical deprogramming, this time specifically mentioning cardiovascular pathologies.
Although only one of those contributions mention specifically structural heart disease, they all raise the alert on the growing challenge of heart diseases in an ageing society, which is not currently at the forefront of health policies in France. The consequence being the lack of resilience of our population to covid-19 and future pandemics.