Published on 24 Jan. 2022 at 18: 46 Updated on 24 Jan. 2022 at 18: 46
The book will obviously never appear in the libraries of retirement homes managed by Orpea. “The gravediggers”, that’s its title, indeed reveals from the pen of its author, the journalist Victor Castanet, what he presents as the hidden faces of one of the French and European leaders and even worldwide of care for dependent people. A few excerpts published by the newspaper “Le Monde” were enough to bring down the Orpea share of 16% on the Paris Stock Exchange on Monday, before the company requested the suspension of trading. The Korian share, another major player in the sector, was swept away in the turmoil, ending down % at the close of the Parisian market.
The book, published by Fayard, is the result of a three-year investigation into the group founded by Doctor Jean-Claude Marian. “Thanks to more than 250 witnesses and numerous documents, I was able to trace the origins of the abuse and uncover an organized destructive system who takes advantage of the flaws in the French health system”, writes the author on his website.
Xavier Bertrand in the line of sight
Supporting testimonials, he describes a system where hygiene care, medical care, and even residents’ meals would be “rationed” in order to improve the company’s profitability. And this while stays are charged at full price. But it is also a virulent charge against Nicolas Sarkozy’s former Minister of Health, Xavier Bertrand.
According to the author, who quotes a former executive of Orpea, the current president of the Hauts-de-France region would have favored the expansion of the group during the most decisive period of the dependency sector: the years 1990-2010, where the nursing home and clinic authorization market has literally exploded. Already, in the years 1990, Orpea had obtained, in a few months, the management of 7 Ehpad in the Aisne, department of election of Xavier Bertrand . In this case, Yves Le Masne, the group’s general manager, who was not with Orpea at the time, replied during a telephone press conference that, verifications made, it was a question of taking over 7 establishments which had been developed by an HLM office and were, as a whole, in bankruptcy.
In a press release published after the stock exchange, Orpea formally contests all of these accusations which we consider to be false, outrageous and prejudicial. The group “not having the book to date, has already seized its lawyers to take all the necessary steps, including on the legal level, in order to restore the truth of the facts”, concludes the press release.