the CEO of Orpea apologizes, but refutes any “organized system that would lead to abuse”

“On behalf of Orpea, I sincerely apologize to the residents and families. » In an interview at Figaro published online on the evening of Saturday March 26, the CEO of Orpea, Philippe Charrier, says he has “taken full measure of the legitimate emotion aroused by [l]dysfunctions” within the group of private nursing homes denounced by journalist Victor Castanet in the book “The Gravediggers”. And to ensure: “We must and we will improve. »

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“We should have made our mea culpa earlier,” recognizes the CEO, who nevertheless tries to refute point by point the accusations against the group. Philippe Charlier “regret” moreover, that the investigation report that the General Inspectorates of Finance (IGF) and Social Affairs (IGAS) submitted to the government “is neither made public nor made available to stakeholders”. Mr. Charrier asserts that the latter “lets conclude” that“there is no organized system at Orpea that would lead to mistreatment”.

Eagerly awaited for weeks, the inspection report will not be made public, as it is covered by the “business secrecy”, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) the office of the minister delegate in charge of the autonomy of the elderly, Brigitte Bourguignon. Contrary to statements by the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, on March 11, who then intended to publish “all, except for what is covered by business secrecy”.

Excerpts from “Gravediggers”: Article reserved for our subscribers “Already, there was this terrible smell of piss, from the entrance”

“Serious malfunctions”

Furthermore, the CEO of Orpea takes “act of the Minister’s decision send the report to the public prosecutor ».

An administrative inspection confirmed part of the accusations in the book “The Gravediggers” on the “serious malfunctions” within the Ehpad group. The state sued “on the basis of article 40 of the code of criminal procedure which obliges any authority to report criminal acts of which it becomes aware”said Saturday on France Inter Brigitte Bourguignon.

According to the ministry in charge of autonomy, the report of the inspections mentions “significant dysfunctions in the organization of the group, to the detriment of the care of residents”. “The malfunctions noted” are linked ” most of the time [à] a shortage of care and support professionals affecting the entire sector”answers the CEO of Orpea.

And “we demand restitution” of public grants allegedly diverted from their purposes, which amount to ” few millions “ euros,” added Ms. Bourguignon. “We have not yet received any request to this effect”replies the CEO of Orpea, saying that“there is no Orpea system aimed at optimizing the use of these allocations”.

“The report notes a surplus of 20 million euros in four years, or 1.5% of the public grants received over the period”replies Philippe Charrier in the interview with Figaroasserting that these surpluses “had no effect on the group’s profits”.

These sums “result from the entry into force in 1917 of the law on adapting society to aging”which aimed to move towards a “tariff convergence” between public nursing homes and private nursing homes, under-resourced compared to the public, according to the boss of Orpea.

“Business Secrets”

Beyond the accounting aspect, the administration inspectors noted “weaknesses in supporting residents” : the “satisfaction of [leurs] nutritional needs » leaves something to be desired, some personal “were not necessarily up to it” and residences accommodated too many residents in relation to their authorized capacity.

These conclusions and the referral to justice by the State constitute a “fundamental step”, reacted Victor Castanet. However “the families of residents and the employees who took part in my investigation (…) do not understand the non-publication of this report”said the journalist.

“The argument of business secrecy was opposed to me throughout my three years of investigations” and “again, this vague notion protects a private group to the detriment of the general interest”he lamented.

This decision is “surprising, bordering on shocking”abounded the senator (LR) Bernard Bonne, co-rapporteur of the commission of inquiry of the Senate on the scandal Orpea. “I have been siege to the ministry since the beginning of the week, but it has still not been transmitted to us”.

Brigitte Bourguignon must be heard Tuesday afternoon by this commission – before the leaders of Orpea Wednesday morning – and the question of the refusal to transmit the report “will be the first to be asked”he assured.

The World with AFP

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