Health, commodity or common good ?

The President of the Republic was due on march 12, when he stated “ the free health without any condition of income, career or profession, our welfare State, are not costs or expenses but property valuable, indispensable assets when disaster strikes. This reveals that this pandemic is that it is goods and services that are to be placed outside of the laws of the market… “.

In fact, health is not a private good, which would sell for or would purchase for a sole consumption, which would be unconstitutional in France (1). This is not a public good like the light of a lighthouse or a radio broadcast whose consumption by some does not prevent consumption by others and for which it is not possible to restrict the access. Health, it is not an infinite resource and its access is expensive.

→ FORUM. Reform the hospital, beyond the emotion

Health is a property of access regulated even if all have access to it. Health is a resource that is exhaustible. 2009 economy Nobel prize winner, Elinor Ostrom has studied the exploitation of the “common resources” and has shown how local communities, autonomous in their governance, managing resources exhaustible, but common. It was noted that their organizations did not fall within either the market or the State, they have not been based on a “direct regulation by a central authority,” but had multiple rules of access, use, conflict resolution.

Change course rather than a change of pace

One cannot describe otherwise the activities at the hospital these last few months : stand-alone building of an organization to preserve a resource. Each day, solutions have been devised to respond to the pandemic, the intensivists have multiplied by three in their beds, services have closed in order for their caregivers to come to the reinforcement in the units Covid, the former internal, the retired, converted, are back in their services to lend a hand.

→ MAINTENANCE. Frédéric Valletoux : “There must be a New Deal for the health-care system “

Printers 3D in the area have achieved, in their living room, visors protection, the population has supported the caregivers, all were united to protect the resource, the common good : the health.

Three months after the presidential address, the health professionals and service users gathered for the Segur of Health. Édouard Philippe stated at the opening that it is” not to change course, but certainly a change of pace… The answer lies much more in the mode of management that in the rules of governance… “.

→ FORUM. Why activity-based pricing brings benefits to health

However, the crisis has shown, health is a common good. We should therefore change course and reconsider the governance. Drop in meetings on medico-administrative the obsession to ” gain market share “. It is necessary to choose between health, well-dealer under State control, or common good, neither privatized nor étatisable. That was the thought of social Security, and that we think of health in France (2).

The Ségur must say. Elinor Ostrom has well deserved his Nobel.


Protest of restaurateurs in Milan, empty chairs in the square – Lombardy

Demonstration at the Arco della Pace

Restaurateurs and bar managers have returned to protest against the government in Milan over the economic crisis who hit them with the health emergency and to ask for clear rules on the reopening. About fifty merchants, representing 2 thousand businesses, protested the Arco della Pace by placing dozens and dozens of empty chairs on the ground to symbolize their premises that still cannot accommodate people.

“We have revenues reduced by 70% and we risk not reopening anymore – said the restaurateur Alfredo Zini who is the spokesman for the protest -. It is not enough to say that at the reopening we will have to use Plexiglas to divide the tables, we want clear rules because we live in conviviality “. Many bars and restaurants in Milan are shared with delivery or takeaway “but they are above all family businesses that have no employees to pay – he added – with those revenues you cannot make a company stand and then a customer can enter at a time. So we can pay a few monthly users or someone pays the layoffs to employees since it hasn’t arrived yet. ”