Why is CHR Metz-Thionville not a university (yet?).

The dispute between François Grosdidier and Mathieu Klein brought the universitization of CHR Metz-Thionville back to the fore. A very old case that can be solved in a few months. The Week tells you the story.

It was good. It’s almost as good. On November 19, 2019, a university hospital agreement was signed between CHR and the University of Lorraine. The discussions were long and lively. But there is a result, which is welcomed by all: Metz and its hospital center will be equipped with this famous U, which changes everything and which the city and the hospital have been working on for many years. This time it is true, the establishment of hospital-university posts is at the end of several meters of road.

Almost four years later, U is still not there. But the main heroes of the case still believe in it. Starting with the most involved of them: Khalifé Khalifé. In his office at Metz city hall, this Tuesday morning, he produced a file that contained the entire story of this U, which he knew by heart, and which had never been accessed. 1970, the date of the first letter sent by Jean-Marie Rouillard to the Ministry of Health to become Metz CHU. CHR’s former chief of cardiology fought for that distinction. He traveled all over France to see how other university hospitals were created, relying on old centers. Went to Brest, St. Etienne, Nice, Nimes.

This last step is important because it is this model that CHRU project leaders want to replicate. “The Faculty of Medicine of Montpellier irrigates two University hospitals, the hospitals of Montpellier and Nimes. We are in two hospitals, unbeknownst to each other, federated by the medical faculty, each with its own dynamics”, Khalife Khalife explains. Therefore, the University of Nancy can serve as a base, in the University Hospital of Nancy and in the hospital of Metz. This position, which Dr. Khalifa has defended for many years, allowed him to obtain the 2019 university hospital contract together with the mayor of Metz, Dominique Grosz. “Essential Step to Becoming a CHRU”. Five majors have been identified. Then nothing happened. Covid didn’t help.

Khalifé Khalifé has been following the universityization file of CHR Metz-Thionville since the 1970s.
Photo by Michelle Dell’Aiera

In early 2022, then Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the transition from Orléans CHR to CHU. It does not force elected officials to the municipal council to react. “We learned this news with great emotions”, then delivers Khalifa Khalifa. ” In 1976, we acquired the label of a regional hospital center. Today there are 32 in France and only two are not universities: Orléans and Metz. A request was made to respect the state “commitments”. “We must use all political means to ensure that CHR Metz-Thionville is treated on the same level as Orleans”Believing that the closeness between the elected officials from Orleans and Jean Castex played to their advantage, Dr. Launched Khalifé. “We have been fighting for two years. » It should be noted that Metz is located in 17 out of 32 regional centerse position. “There is no need to be ashamed of our activities. We have a clinical research center and excellent medical care. The elected representatives of Metz can no longer support this inaction.”he ended Khalifa Khalifa by organizing the entire municipal council behind him, including the opposition.


Nothing after that date. At least officially. Nothing brought this file back into the polemic radius until this speech by Mathieu Klein. During his swearing-in at the CHRU de Nancy on February 18, the mayor of Nancy presented the concept of the universityization of CHR Metz-Thionville: I say it simply and clearly, the universityization of Metz-Thionville makes sense when it is part of a regional project. It would be neither appropriate nor desirable for two CHUs to exist back to back 60 kilometers apart. Less acceptable would be the University of Lorraine, home to two medical schools and two university hospitals. Therefore, in the north of Lorraine there is a territorial project to really be invented, supporting the dynamics of university education”he spoke about it “particularly vulnerable”. The speech of the mayor of Nancy does not fall from the sky because it precedes the arrival a few days ago of a mission from Igas (General Inspectorate of Social Affairs) and higher education created specifically to study the universitization of CHR Metz-Thionville. He was in Nancy earlier in the week and will be in Metz on January 26. Khalifa Khalifa knows exactly what to say to him. According to him, the model of Nimes and Montpellier remains the most relevant. “We cannot afford to go to medical school in Metz. Everyone should add water to their wine and benefit from it. »

CHRU in Metz would enable the fight against medical desertification an area where the morbidity and mortality rate is 30% higher than the national average, where the CHR is located in an area with a population of one million. After François Grosdidier answered Mathieu Klein, the visit to the Igas mission is part of the tense climate between Nancy and Metz. “Nancy’s control of Metz would be unacceptable, as would the non-implementation of the CHR Metz-Thionville university agreement since 2019”the mayor of Metz wrote on social networks. “Today’s topic is there and only there. If solved, what Mathieu Klein said will not come out. In any case, the mayor of Metz does not need permission from the mayor of Nancy and vice versa”, the right-wing elected official concluded. Atmosphere.

In this regard, Metz will not let up and has solid support in high places. Francois Brown assured that he will follow this file closely and do everything to make it a success. He already proved it, because without him the mission would not have been built. Ultimately, he will be the decision-maker along with Higher Education Minister Sylvie Retailleau.

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