Excess mortality in France of people born abroad during confinement: “Epidemics accelerate inequalities”, says an emergency doctor

Excess mortality in France of people born abroad during confinement: “Epidemics accelerate inequalities”, says an emergency doctor

Jean-Francois Corty, doctor in the emergency accommodation center (CHU) La Rochefoucauld in Paris, calls for“More medicine, more access to care”for precarious people.

Food aid distribution in Clichy-sous-Bois during confinement, April 22, 2020 (ADRIEN VAUTIER / LE PICTORIUM / MAXPPP)

“Inequalities have increased during this crisis and the data from INSEE reminds us”, explained, Tuesday, July 7 on franceinfo, Jean-François Corty, doctor in the emergency accommodation center (CHU) La Rochefoucauld in Paris. Lnational institute of statistics and economic studies has just published a study showing a higher excess mortality in France among people born abroad during the months of March and April. According to the former director of operations at Médecins du Monde, we “Could expect to have this style of result” car “We have known for a long time that epidemics accelerate or highlight inequalities”.Jean-Francois Corty calls out “More medicine, more access to care” for precarious people.

franceinfo: Does this INSEE study surprise you?

Jean-François Corty:No, because unfortunately, it has long been known that epidemics accelerate or highlight inequalities. So we could expect to have this style of result. What is interesting is that we have had studies in the United States in particular, but also in Sweden or Canada, which already date from April, and in which we already saw in the determinants in terms of related mortality. with the Covid, determinants of precariousness, social class.

In the same way as, for example, in Sweden, we knew that migrants, in particular from Somalia, Iraq or Syria, were more exposed.

Is being born in Africa or Asia an additional risk factor for coronavirus?

The point is that there are probably genetic or other determinants that come into play. But the three important elements that emerge from the investigation are the questions of living conditions in places where there was a high density of people. population and where the epidemic was strong, especially in Île-de-France in Seine-Saint-Denis.

People who also found themselves together in small dwellings, which was an accentuating factor in particular of intrafamily clusters. So there was this dimension of housing that was very significant as a risk factor. The question of transport too. For many of these exposed and precarious people, who need to work to survive, they were led to take public transport and therefore to expose themselves especially at a time when access to masks and hydroalcoholic gel were not available. not systematic. And then, the third level, these are the exhibition trades, such as caregivers or delivery men, these trades where you had to be in the field.

In your opinion, this study mainly illustrates inequalities in France?

Inequalities increased during this crisis and the INSEE data reminds us of this. We know that when we are an executive and we work behind a computer, we have less risk than when we are these famous workers in the field to run our country.

Indeed, this study reminds us that inequalities are very strong in our country. What is missing in the paper, and we hope that there will be more data in the future, is everything relating to access to care, and in particular to the state of health of these people. More medicine, more access to care, that’s what will allow us to better prepare ourselves and protect the precarious for the next waves if they happen.