12,000 inhabitants and three general practitioners less. This is what Gravelines looked like in 2013. To escape medical desertification, the elected officials of this northern municipality had to rethink their healthcare offer, by providing doctors with two “springboard practices”.

The goal: if they don’t like it, the newcomer can leave the premises at any time. A device designed to appeal to young doctors who would still hesitate to settle.

“The objective is that we spend a certain amount of time here, in this case 6 years maximum with almost free rent, but that afterwards, the doctor, somewhere, if he likes of course, if he integrated, invest in Gravelines either by renting a property or by acquiring a legal entity to practice his profession “ explains Bertrand Ringot, mayor of Gravelines (59).

Avoid exercising 50 years in the same place

To find the formula likely to attract the doctors, it was necessary to fight. Investigate in the field, with interns, unions, young graduates … and understand what were the obstacles to installation.

“We chose this concept of” springboard cabinet “so as not to tell a young doctor that you are committed to practicing for 50 years in the same municipality because you bought this building. Today very often doctors have a working spouse. Mutations exist. So the fact of not chaining, today over 50 years of practice in the same city was a first brake ” adds Louise Catel-Facon, health officer, at the town hall of Gravelines.

Other obstacles: the administrative burden, the difficult reconciliation between personal and professional life, the desire also not to practice alone … Hence the city’s initiative to organize meetings between health professionals. Thanks to its “springboard cabinets”, Gravelines still hopes to recruit two doctors.

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