Decisive week for the senatorial commission of inquiry on nursing homes which will hear Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., the minister, Brigitte Bourguignon and Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., the CEO of Orpea France, Philippe Charrier, followed by the general manager of Korian at 11 a.m.
Two hearings which take place a few days after the announcement by the Minister Delegate in charge of the autonomy of the elderly, of a State complaint targeting the group of private nursing homes, Orpea, whose practices amount to mistreatment for its residents were revealed in the book “Les Fossoyeurs”, by investigative journalist, Victor Castanet.
» Read our article. Scandal in nursing homes: the Senate commission of inquiry is constituted
The government opposes “business secrecy”
An administrative inspection, launched in early February by the government, confirmed part of the book’s accusations of “serious dysfunctions” within the group. The newspaper Le Monde had access to a detailed summary of the preliminary report of the General Inspectorates of Finance (IGF) and Social Affairs (IGAS). It reported “negligence in oral care, lack of reliability in the drug distribution circuit, difficulties in dealing with emergency situations, shortcomings in the menus, lack of personnel… For a surplus of 20 million euros of public money that the group managed to release over the period 2017-2020.
But Brigitte Bourguignon’s cabinet indicated that the investigation report would not be made public because of “business secrecy”. “The families of boarders and employees who took part in my survey […] do not understand the non-publication of this report” deplored Victor Castanet to AFP. According to him, “business secrecy protects a private group to the detriment of the general interest”.
» Read our article. Ehpad: “Members of regional health agencies had informed Orpea of my investigation”, reports Victor Castanet
A decision also deemed “surprising, bordering on shocking”, by Senator (LR) Bernard Bonne, co-rapporteur of the Senate inquiry committee, on Saturday. The elected official told AFP to do “the siege of the ministry” to obtain it.
Possibility of a new audition of Brigitte Bourguignon
This Monday, the Senate was finally answered. “I don’t know if it was my stubbornness that paid off or the fact that the government has the obligation to send this document to a commission of inquiry which requests it,” he explains to publicenat.fr. The rules of the Senate clearly specify that the members of a commission of inquiry “are authorized to have all official documents communicated to them, with the exception of those of a secret nature and concerning national defence, foreign affairs, security internal or external to the State, and subject to respect for the principle of the separation of judicial authority and other powers”.
Bernard Bonne regrets that the transmission of the report takes place the day before the hearing of Brigitte Bourguignon. “If we don’t have time to fully understand it. We will reconvene the minister, ”he warns.
The president of the social affairs commission, Catherine Deroche (LR) outlines another explanation for the delay taken by the executive. “The report was finalized on Friday evening. And it must be sent by secure messaging. Which took a while.”