The future of Luxembourg's healthcare system took centre stage during Thursday evening's "Kloertext" programme on RTL Télé, featuring six political candidates running in the upcoming legislative elections.
The candidates in attendance included Sven Clement (Pirate Party), Jean-Marc Cloos (Green Party – déi Gréng), Carole Hartmann (Democratic Party – DP), Paulette Lenert (Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party – LSAP), Roy Reding (Liberté-Freedom), and Claude Wiseler (Christian Social People's Party – CSV).
Luxembourg faces significant healthcare challenges, with prolonged waiting times for appointments with certain specialists and the prospect of two-thirds of current doctors retiring, all the while the population keeps growing.
During the programme, the CSV placed blame on the government, specifically targeting Minister of Health Paulette Lenert, for the current healthcare situation. Wiseler noted that similar issues were discussed during the 2013 and 2018 election campaigns, with limited progress made. He slammed the policies of the past decade, asserting that they have reached a standstill.
For Wiseler, a shift towards prioritising healthcare outside of hospitals is imperative. He stressed that there has been insufficient focus in this area.
Minister Lenert countered this perspective, highlighting ongoing projects and investments exceeding €1 billion in major hospitals, emphasising the need for infrastructure improvements and investments in hospitals while also recognising the importance of the out-of-hospital sector.
Jean-Marc Cloos, a medical director, psychiatrist, and Green Party candidate, proposed addressing the doctor shortage by training specialists like paediatricians, psychiatrists, geriatricians, and occupational physicians within Luxembourg and potentially seeking university partnerships abroad.
Sven Clement, representing the Pirate Party, and Roy Reding, the lead candidate of the "Liberté-Freedom" list, both identified the lack of speed as a significant challenge in the healthcare sector. Both also believe that there exists a two-tier medical system in Luxembourg.
Carole Hartmann, a candidate for the DP, stressed the importance of considering the patient's perspective throughout these discussions, highlighting the need to address patient concerns and challenges in the healthcare system.
Guests on "Kloertext"
Paulette Lenert - LSAP lead candidate, Minister of Health
Dr Jean-Marc Cloos - Green Party candidate in central Luxembourg, Medical director and psychiatrist
Sven Clement - Co-lead candidate of the Pirate Party in central Luxembourg, MP
Carole Hartmann - Co-lead candidate of the DP in eastern Luxembourg, MP and Mayor of Echternach
Claude Wiseler - CSV candidate in central Luxembourg, MP
Roy Reding - Liberté-Freedom lead candidate, MP