The Conseil d’État's urgent applications judge today rejected a request by the SNMRH (Syndicat national des médecins remplaçants dans les hôpitaux [national union of locum doctors in hospitals]) to suspend the ministerial directive aimed at controlling expenditure on temporary healthcare staff. According to law, the remuneration of doctors, dentists and pharmacists must not exceed the regulatory limits established in public health institutions.
In application of article 33 of the so-called Rist Law1, the Government issued a ministerial directive in March to control expenditure on locum and sessional healthcare workers in public health institutions2. The Syndicat national des médecins remplaçants dans les hôpitaux (national union of locum doctors in hospitals) asked the Conseil d'État to suspend this ministerial directive.
The Conseil d’État's urgent applications judge noted that the ministerial directive complied with the law: the remuneration of doctors, dentists and pharmacists recruited in public health institutions under temporary or sessional contracts must not exceed the regulatory limits. The public accountant must refuse to pay unlawful remuneration and must refer the matter to the regional health agency if the practitioner refuses to amend their contract to comply with the cap. The agency can then refer the allegedly unlawful contract to the administrative court.
In reiterating the rule of law arising from the Rist Law in the ministerial directive, the Minister for Health and the Minister for the Economy did not overstep their jurisdiction.
The judge found that none of the arguments put forward by the Syndicat national des médecins remplaçants dans les hôpitaux (national union of locum doctors in hospitals) raised serious doubts about the legality of the ministerial directive in question. On these grounds, the application for suspension was rejected.
1 Law No. 2021-502 of 26 April 2021 for the improvement of the healthcare system through trust and simplification
2 Ministerial directive No. DGOS/RH5/PF1/DGFIP/2023/33 of 17 March 2023 on the control of spending on temporary medical staff in pubic healthcare institutions
Read the decision (in French)