Hospitals along the Riviera are facing an unprecedented crisis as they struggle to cope with the twin problems of a seasonal influx of patients and a shortage of staff.

The crisis has been made worse by recent high temperatures, according to Stéphanie Lagarde, health executive at the private Saint-Jean Polyclinic in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

Speaking to BFMTV, she said that nearly 110 patients have been admitted each day since the start of August, largely due to an influx of tourists. Added to the problem is the fact that many general practitioners are on vacation.

At the Nice University Hospital many elderly people are being admitted who have failed to drink enough water, even those in care homes, Didier Giolito, doctor in charge of the emergency medicine department said.

Patients who need emergency treatment are advised to first call the ‘care access’ telephone number 15, but this system is not working well, many health professionals claim.

Meanwhile, Patrick Pelloux, President of the Association of Emergency Physicians of France, commented that the promise made by Emmanuel Macron last April to unclog all emergency services “by the end of next year” is no more than a bad joke.

FILE PHOTO: Medical staff at a French hospital Reuters