A renewed recognition of the IRCAD as a model of excellence

January 9, 2009

On the 9th of January, Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic, came to Strasbourg to inaugurate the New University Hospital and address his best wishes to the whole community of health care professionals. Several medical and political pundits were present during the unveiling of the new hospital inaugural plaque. After a brief visit of the Digestive Surgery Department, French President Nicolas Sarkozy along with Professor Jacques Marescaux went to the New University Hospital canteen in order for the President to deliver his wishes and announce the hospital reform.

© Pascal RIEDINGER, Riedproductions

The hospital reform will definitely take place; indeed, a committee presided by Professor Marescaux will gather to determine what the hospital of tomorrow will be like.

« Ministers, Senator, Mayor,
Members of Parliament,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The hospital’s reform is one of my priorities, and one of the government’s priorities for 2009.
Almost fifty years ago to the day, the ordinances that gave birth to the University hospitals were established. By trusting a unique structure, the University Hospitals, with the triple task of teaching, healthcare and research, the DEBRE ordinance merely invented the University hospital system as it still works today.
However, the world has changed. Medical science has evolved; it is now more complex, more technical.
You can assess, Ladies and Gentlemen, the magnitude of the problem and the extensiveness of the task. That is why I wanted to assign a group of scholars, presided by the Professor Jacques MARESCAUX, with the task of proposing a new model for the University Hospitals fifty years after the DEBRE ordinances. Jacques MARESCAUX, you embody the triple undertaking of teaching, research and healthcare: you are the living proof that it is possible to be a world-renowned surgeon, a remarkable teacher and a great researcher. With the success of your Institute, the IRCAD, you demonstrate that the University Hospital’s deficit will not condemn it, quite the contrary! That, well-conceived and well-managed, our University Hospital medical projects can become a source of prestige for France around the world, and bring with them growth and jobs to France.

As a roadmap, I wish to bring you and make mine these words, spoken in 1973 by Robert DEBRE, who himself considered his reform as incomplete and needing to be taken further: « Would you like me to tell you what I think of the University Hospitals’ problem? Well, I think that it needs a revolution. It needs an implementation that is radically different to the current situation ».

I therefore ask you, esteemed Jacques MARESCAUX, to be as ambitious for our University Hospitals as Professor Robert DEBRE was in 1958. I ask you to leave no stone unturned. There must be no taboo subjects, no restricted fields, when it comes to the healthcare of the French and of the state’s research priority.
You will have understood: I have great ambitions for the hospital and the University hospital. My ambitions equal the extraordinary potential in competence and commitment of the men and women that work there and give the best of themselves. I wish for the hospital to be the engine driving France’s return to the foreground of Nations when it comes to solidarity, excellence and attractiveness. »