Doctors Turn Bounty Hunter To Track Down COVID Infected

French medics are set to pocket lucrative cash bonuses for finding possible COVID-19 patients.

To incentivise doctors to find additional people infected with the virus, they will be given an additional 2 EUR (1.76 GBP) for every person beyond a COVID-19 patient’s family that they can identify.

They will receive 4 EUR (3.52 GBP) if they can enter details that will allow them to be contacted.

The news comes as part of a range of new measures designed to assist the government in tracking COVID-19.

France is planning to deploy “Health Brigades” all over the country to hunt down people infected with coronavirus.

Credit: Newsflash
Health Minister Olivier Veran

The plan is to deploy these specialised “Health Brigade” units in every department as of 11th May and their mission will be to find people infected with the disease and stop it from spreading or creating new hotspots.

While France already has some of these brigades in some hospitals, the plan is to widen this setup to the whole country to ease the “deconfinement” process.

Details are now trickling down about the precise nature of these anti-COVID ‘task forces’ after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced their creation last week.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Saturday that these teams will be “brigades of guardian angels, because they will come into contact with the sick and potentially sick people, to ensure their protection.”

The idea is to identify the biggest groups of people infected with coronavirus, whether they are showing symptoms or not. The endgame is to “break” the contamination chains and therefore defeat the virus.

The government is going to use 3,000 to 4,000 people in these teams, primarily employees from the Assurance Maladie, one of the four branches of the social security part of the government. People from the Red Cross and other organisations could also eventually be integrated into these virus hit squads.

Nicolas Revel, the president of the Assurance Maladie, told local media: “We will have 2,500 additional collaborators ready to come in immediately as reinforcements if necessary.”

He also said: “The door in for testing, tracing, isolating, will be the doctor.”

Indeed, first a GP will have to survey who was in contact with their patient, once they have determined that the patient has the virus. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says that this means they are the “first line” of defence.

Then that information will be sent to the Assurance Maladie. GPs will be paid 55 EUR (48.43 GBP) per patient, and this includes the consultation and entering the data into a database. To incentivise doctors to find additional people infected with the virus, they will be given an additional 2 EUR (1.76 GBP) for every person beyond the patient’s family that they can identify.

Credit: Newsflash
Nicolas Revel, the president of the Assurance Maladie

They will receive 4 EUR (3.52 GBP) if they can enter details that will allow them to be contacted.

Then the Assurance Maladie will contact all these people and be asked to identify other “contact subjects”. They will also be provided with masks and hand sanitiser. They will, most importantly, be asked to take a test. If they test positive, the people they have been in contact with will be contacted, and so on and so forth.

People who test positive will have to self isolate for 14 days, either at home or at a location made available to them by the authorities.

So far, the government has shied away from forcing people to isolate if they do not comply. Health Minister Olivier Veran said: “We trust the sense of responsibility of the French people.”

As of 11th May, the government wants to test 700,000 people per week.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorMichael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash

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