Medical desert in Gers: meeting with a doctor who arrived as reinforcements from Spain

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Doctor Armel Thibault Wassi has just moved to Cazaubon, west of the ward, where he welcomes his new patients facing the arenas. An arrival arranged by City Hall to anticipate retirement departures for doctors in the sector.

Cazaubon has been welcoming its new doctor for two weeks. He placed his suitcases in the old treasury, which was specially designed by the municipality for a doctor’s office, opposite the arenas.

The son of a diplomat, Dr. Armel Thibault Wassi, studied medicine in Cuba and Spain. “A doctor friend in Nogaro suggested I follow him to Gers,” he says. Cazaubon is the choice of my partner Monica, it was her who told me that I should choose Cazaubon because we were well received by the municipal team. »

The municipality on initiative

For the town hall has been actively involved in facilitating the arrival of a new doctor to the city. “We suffered the departure of several doctors who were not replaced. Our doctors are advancing in age and we had to anticipate their departures, explains Mayor Isabelle Tintané. When I came as mayor in 2020, I had an idea to become an employee. »

It was also a project in the Gers department to combat medical deserts, but Cazaubon was not one of the three selected municipalities.

So the city council member took steps to move this matter forward, which she prioritized in her mandate. “We have 60% of the population who are older and we have new residents coming to Barbotan. It’s not the day we no longer have a doctor that we’ll have to find one! »

“Do not let the administration be an obstacle”

She was accompanied by ARS and CPAM, who facilitated the administrative arrival of a general practitioner from Spain, and by the doctors in Cazaubon, who helped equip the new practice. “The administrative part should not be a brake”, sums up Isabelle Tintané.

The beginning of Doctor Wassi is smooth in Cazaubon. “There is a time factor people need to know me and trust me,” he explains. For this, the town hall has arranged meetings with the city’s health professionals.

“In Spain, I had a specialty in family medicine, I took care of chronic diseases and emergencies. But the medicine is the same, ”reassures the new doctor.

The repeal of numerus clausus targeted

The repeal of numerus clausus should improve the situation, but it will still take several years to feel the effects. “I believe that in the eight to nine years we have to wait, it will be good for the trainees to come to the rural areas to take their last internship,” says the elected representative. This final year could allow doctors to discover what rural is. »

Doctor Wassi agrees: “I was a co-teacher in Spain and I supervised the trainees. The internship supervisors present at Lectoure or Riscle seem to support this idea.

And Cazaubon is not going to stop there. Hoping to welcome a new doctor, another cabinet is already ready in the old treasury. What used to be the tax collection office could see patients pass by under its brick vaults.

There is also a lack of dentists

General medicine is not the only one affected by this shortage of GPs. Cazaubonnais can no longer consult a dentist, those in the sector no longer accept new patients. “Dentists no longer take. A lady asked me when a dentist came: she has three children and they have never been able to go to a dentist, ”says Isabelle Tintané. In case of emergency, some are required to go to the Basque Country to consult. “It’s really catastrophic. We’re starting the same steps to find a dentist who can settle in Cazaubon,” says the mayor. Here, too, the municipality is ready to find a company to accompany a general practitioner in its installation in the municipality.

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