Liberal nurses are joining the farmers’ protest movement this Wednesday, January 31.

Along with the farmers and the taxis, it is now the liberal nurses who are joining the demonstrations. Farmers started their large-scale movement across France more than a week ago. Taxis began protest actions on Monday January 29, including snail-like operations on main roads. This Wednesday, January 31, liberal nurses also decided to join the movement.

Mobilized throughout France, nurses are protesting against the abandonment of which they consider themselves victims by the State. As indicated by France 3 Provence-Alpes, the liberal nurses gathered in Martigues (Bouches-du-Rhône) wish to “be heard, just like the farmers”. Questioned by the media, Gaëlle Cannat, president of the “Angry Liberal Nurses”, an IDEL union collective (Liberal State Registered Nurses) explains the feeling of abandonment experienced by the profession: “We met elected officials, but no one talks about us, nothing goes back to the National Assembly. We remain invisible, no word from Gabriel Attal this Tuesday, January 30 in his general policy speech.” Ms. Cannat and the other nurses present in Martigues regret that the consideration that the profession received during the Covid pandemic has disappeared.

Among the demands put forward by liberal nurses, the first at the top is an increase in salaries. Gaëlle Cannat declares to France 3 that no salary increase has taken place “for 15 years, while at the same time inflation has jumped by 28%”. She adds that the only increase granted in 2023 is “25 cents increase per trip. Which brings the cost per trip to 2.75 euros.” An action by the government which caused more anger than disappointment.

Liberal nurses also want to draw attention to their role in a context where medical deserts are increasing. Gaëlle Cannat estimates that working conditions are so unattractive that “58% of nurses will disappear in the next five years”. She warns that the disappearance of liberal nurses in the countryside would mark a tipping point for rural areas where a multitude of services disappear and not only in the medical field. According to her, “people will no longer have anything in the countryside”.

One of the objectives of this Wednesday’s mobilizations is to emphasize the particularly difficult working conditions of self-employed nurses. While the government has recognized the arduousness of certain professions to which it has promised faster access to retirement, Ms. Cannat points out that the profession of nursing is not one of them. However, to France 3 she describes a professional situation with increased arduousness: “We have very long hours, we get up very early and finish very late, we can work up to 15 days in a row without days off, some of our patients that we handle are heavy so we carry heavy loads.”