When the state and CNIL censor information on our health system

NOTWe will not be releasing our list of hospitals and clinics anytime soon. Yet it has existed for more than twenty years, hundreds of thousands of readers trust it, dozens of prestigious hospitals proudly display it on their walls. What happened ? A group of bureaucrats, allergic to the independent evaluation of our health system and visibly struck by the intoxication of their power, has decided to ban it. Censorship: There is no other word to describe what just happened. State censorship for breaking a thermometer that annoys a little.

The procedure is simple: prevent us from accessing the database called PMSI, which measures the activity of health facilities. This basis has been the basis of our assessment for more than twenty years. Everyone understands easily that fitting a hip prosthesis, for example, is more likely to be successful, and in good condition, from a service that performs several a day than from another that does not try it only a few times a day. year … Well, it’s over!

Operation silence. The public will therefore no longer know where it is best to seek treatment. There is no doubt that the apparatchiks who carried out this censorship will know which hospital to go to: they have contacts. But it is not worth knowing the others. What does it matter, too, that our healthcare system is funded essentially with public funds: people don’t have to be informed about what is being done with their money. Curtain !

At the origin of this omerta operation, an obscure organization named Cesrees. This acronym designates the Ethical and Scientific Committee for Healthcare Research, Studies and Evaluations, which depends on the Ministries of Health and Research. In fact, a small club that confuses ethics and opacity, and to which the evaluation gives eczema. Cesree, therefore, has issued a negative opinion for the delivery of the data, because it does not like the methodology of a survey still recognized for its seriousness by the greatest professionals for decades.

Make no mistake: Cesrees’ criticisms are welcome, like everyone’s, this is how our know-how has refined over the years. We are therefore delighted to hear them. And then, if they think they have a better methodology, let them produce their own evaluation! The state and social security should have done it a long time ago to guide patients, at the minimum risk, into the scrub of the medical offer. But in the name of what do they feel entitled to prohibit independent evaluation?

L for “freedom”. In this case Cesrees’ arrogance found an ally, let’s say an auxiliary: CNIL. The National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms has allowed us to access the database for twenty years. And so far I haven’t found anything to complain about. Except this year, when nothing has changed in our method. In its stunning decision, CNIL ” guest “ our newspaper to modify its methodology according to the remarks of Cesrees so that “substantially correct” They “prejudice” what he thinks he sees there. We pinch ourselves: a newspaper is ordered to have his work validated by the administration. We foolishly thought that this type of procedure was only used in Cuba, North Korea or Iran. Mistake.

What conclusions can we draw from all this? That the culture of free speech is on the decline among French senior officials, who think they have the right to say what may or may not be published. “While taking into account editorial freedom” of our newspaper, writes the CNIL, censors us … Without knowing it, he parroted this humorous treatise signed by Francis Blanche: “While leaving you the free choice of your opinions, I will never admit that they are contrary to mine. “ The “l” in “Cnil”, which corresponds to the word “freedom”, is therefore now superfluous. Furthermore, it should be noted that this “independent administrative authority” has proven to be anything but independent. If not, why this sudden turnaround? So what do we do? Fight us. We will investigate the hidden side of this censorship, this celebration of silence in the hospital, obviously without forgetting the political leaders. From a legal point of view, too, we will fight to the end and, if necessary, before the European Court of Human Rights. Our freedom is not negotiable. We will never let go.

Gratitude. Sébastien Le Fol, editorial director of Point since 2014, it has been published this week in the newspaper. A huge thank you, Sébastien, for everything you have given us: Point he owes you so much. And all our best wishes for your new adventures!

illustration: dusault for “the point”

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