French mayor offers monthly Michelin-star meals to attract GPs to town

The mayor of Barneville-Carteret in Normandy is offering prospective doctors an apartment with a sea view, use of his personal yacht and monthly Michelin-star meals for two in a bid to address the shortage of medical professionals in the town.

The interior of La Marine.

Pierre Géhanne, mayor of Barneville-Carteret, a small coastal resort town in north west France, is resorting to unusual measures in order to attract GPs, as all but one of the town’s medical professionals have either left the town or are preparing for retirement.

The town, which had 5 GPs, has already seen two leave the area, with a further two doctors also planning their retirement.

Speaking to La Press de la MancheGéhanne said: “I pledge to make an apartment available to a couple of doctors who would like to settle in Barneville-Carteret. And it is with pleasure that I will also offer them a place in the port, and why not a meal a month at the Michelin-starred restaurant, La Marine.

Stating that two doctors had already left the town, he added: “In the near future, two more doctors will retire. Before long, there will be only one left. Our inhabitants will then be forced to head to other cities, such as Les Pieux and Bricquebec”.

La Marine, a hotel and restaurant, holds one Michelin star and is headed up by chef Damien Goguet. The sea front restaurant has, as one would expect, a menu dominated by fish and seafood, such as John Dory with green cabbage, cockles and prawns with seaweed butter, warm smoked salmon with lemon sabayon and herring eggs, and scallop tartar, seaweed and ginger with hot foie gras. Prices start at $45 for three courses with the 8-course tasting menu available for €95.

Barneville-Carteret has a year-round population of roughly 2,300, however, this rises sharply in the summer when tourists flock to the town for their holidays. Northern France, in particular, is struggling with a lack of general practitioners, with the southern regions having a greater ratio of doctors to inhabitants.

For example, in La Garnache in the Loire, the mayor released a tongue-in-cheek video in which he stated that he’d taken steps to ban diseases due to the fact that the town had no doctors.

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