Mutual insurance

IN THE FACE OF COVID, SOLIDARITY IN ACTION: EXAMPLES FROM MGEN

Hawa Fatty
April 1, 2020

Mutualist establishments as backup, psychological support call campaigns, prevention resources and educational support tools… All over France, mutualist stakeholders are mobilised every day to take care of, assist, listen to and support members and vulnerable people. Examples of crisis management combining solidarity and action.

Mutualist establishments as backup, psychological support call campaigns, prevention resources and educational support tools… All over France, mutualist stakeholders are mobilised every day to take care of, assist, listen to and support members and vulnerable people. Examples of crisis management combining solidarity and action.

Health: mutualist establishments and staff on the front line

Thierry Beaudet, President of Mutualité Française testifies: ‘In this unprecedented crisis, our 2,800 mutualist establishments and services are committed to caring for coronavirus patients, but also to maintaining access to care for the most vulnerable and supporting them at home. Thousands of mutualist employees are on the ground every day, on the front line with the French people, in our hospitals and care centres, our residential care homes or at home with those losing autonomy and even in our daycares. We are proud of our caregivers and of all our staff.

Intervention zones have been identified by the establishments to welcome patients, particularly those least severely affected by the COVID-19 and thus help relieve overcrowding in public hospitals. Amongst other things, they had to free up beds to admit these new patients, while continuing to care for patients already admitted for other conditions. In this context, the healthcare, administrative and logistical teams are constantly acting and adapting to changes due to the rapid progression of the pandemic.

Because other diseases do not stop with the COVID-19, health actors are committed to maintain and accommodate their care services. In general and dental medicine, MGEN’s establishments have aligned their actions with the needs expressed by the Regional Health Agency and its professionals are using the digital platform Mes Docteurs [My Doctors] to ensure the continuity of care. Teleconsultation allows patients to be followed up by telephone or email, which helps promote the respect of social distancing measures and avoid having to move around for non-urgent appointments.

In residential care homes, MGEN is applying lockdown measures to guarantee the residents’ safety. Although visits had to be interrupted, agents were able to set up virtual visits to allow beneficiaries to contact their families and maintain social connections.

Follow-up on members: mutualist support systems

A support call campaign towards members has been launched. This initiative is intended to offer active listening and assistance to people (particularly the most vulnerable ones) in these difficult times. It provides guidance on accessible services, reminds them of the existence of free services or the ones included in their subscription and explains the measures and actions undertaken by MGEN. To carry out this mission of assistance, collaborators, activists and counsellors made themselves available and were able to showcase solidarity. By lending a hand to the operational staff, they enabled the support thousands of people.

Mental health: psychological support units

As the isolation imposed by the lockdown can be an anxiety factor or even aggravate certain psychiatric disorders, MGEN actors continue to provide regular support to their patients. They are therefore maintaining contact, albeit virtual, with them through to the implementation of remote discussion groups, weekly exercises or through participatory websites.

Hotlines and helplines are also available to members, with individualised and confidential assistance provided by the psychologists.

Educational support and prevention

As far as education is concerned, MGEN is mobilising to contribute to the continuity of children’s learning in the face of school closures. The collaborators thus are working to ensure the education of essential workers’ children.

Using the VYV together against COVID-19 and AlloVoisins platforms, it has also setup a tutoring system, calling for the solidarity and skills of MGEN members, especially retired teachers, to come to the aid of students in need. By doing so, they also play a part in the reduction of growing educational inequalities, which are inevitable with the lockdown measures.

Resources to support learners are also available online on the ADOSEN online spaces, with a focus on health subjects. Activities led by civic service volunteers on Skype are organised to invite children to reflect of the effects of the lockdown on their well-being and determine with them what attitude to adopt to live it in the best way possible.

MGEN and its partners are also offering well-being solutions for adults. Sleep, nutrition, sport, mental health… Through the Vivoptim cardio programme or on social media, MGEN group’s actors give out advice and exercise sessions so that members can stay fit. The priority being to help them keep their morale and adopt good health practices to be maintained even after the crisis.

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