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In Orne, the Médicobus more than ever essential in the face of the lack of general practitioners

It is now part of the landscape. Every Wednesday in Vimoutiers, the Médicobus is parked in the center of the village for a day of consultation. A mobile medical office which is now essential in this small town which has lost three general practitioners in just six months. On board today, Doctor Maryannick Jaouen Ravasse, retired for three years, but who has returned to duty once a week: “I will see between twenty-eight and thirty patients during the day. At first it was a bit difficult to start, but then it got back to normal, and here it works very well“.

Because three doctors in less, it is about 4000 people of the surroundings who found themselves without treating doctor. And the hemorrhage continues, the Médicobus (initiative of the Normandy region in relation with the health actors of the department of Orne, the prefecture and the Regional Health Agency), already present in five municipalities, will add a stopover on his weekly rounds, at L’Aigle where two doctors are due to leave in a few months. At the level of the department, more than twelve thousand inhabitants are without a doctor.

Currently, we have 24% of our doctors who are over 65 in the department of Orne. We have lost more than 80 doctors in 10 years.

Doctor Jean-Michel Gal

President of the Medicobus Association

So obviously, in the Orne as elsewhere in these medical deserts, the solution would be the installation of young practitioners. In the meantime, we must therefore rely on alternatives. And among them, a solution is becoming more and more essential in rural areas, that of virtual medical practices, installed in the town hall, the social center or even in the nursing home of the municipality. Teleconsultations take place using connected terminals, as in the town of Beaugency in Loiret.


For many professionals, the solution of mobile medical practices such as the Médicobus is to be preferred, especially in these areas where many people are isolated and for many, little or not at all comfortable with technology. Hence the risk of seeing people cut themselves off from any doctor. For them, teleconsultation should not be the miracle solution. A few months ago on France 2, Jean-Paul Hamon, the honorary president of the Federation of Doctors of France, denounced the limits: “Wanting to generalize teleconsultation, making it a solution to medical desertification, means taking a lot of risks with patients. It is a deterioration in the quality of patient care.

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