The big interview with Christie Morreale: “A PCR test costs more than two vaccines! This crisis has a colossal cost ”

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Minister of Health at the heart of the Covid, Christie Morreale had not imagined that this theme would take most of her time as vice-president of the Walloon government. Minister of Employment, Social Action, Health and Equal Opportunities, this graduate in criminology from the University of Liège, had other projects in the pipeline. However, today from Esneux to Namur, this member of the PS since 1993, who was already vice-president of the Socialist Party, has become an expert in working meetings around this pandemic.

Is this crisis going to have a colossal cost?

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“When people accuse politicians or experts by saying that vaccination is a support for pharmaceutical companies, I explain to them that a day in intensive care represents 3 to 4000 euros. When someone is not getting vaccinated and going to have to be treated, it costs the health care system dearly. A PCR test costs more than two vaccines! This crisis has a colossal cost. This is why we must mobilize our energies to make it go back as quickly as possible: it has an impact on indebtedness for the community, on mental health and on the cultural sectors… ”

Vaccination will not solve the crisis on its own?

“The vaccine obligation is being considered, but barrier gestures and the mask must not be abandoned. ”

Why not do more prevention for the most fragile people?

“This crisis has enabled us to structurally improve the health and prevention system in Wallonia with hospitals, coordinating doctors, mobile teams… These resources that we have released will have a lasting impact. In addition, doctors, pharmacists and nurses talk to each other and work together. We have gained more than 5 years in terms of organization of care. ”

How can we have more resources for prevention in the regions?

“In the 2022 budget, we made resources available for prevention for other health problems. The paradox is that when the Regions invest in prevention, it is the Federal government that reaps the benefits. I will only one day like the Regions to benefit financially from these efforts. This would allow greater efficiency in public health. I hope this will be the case from 2024. ”

Vincent Liévin


What more can you do for nurses?

“We put 260 million in the salary increase and hardship. You also have to think about lifelong training for nurses because over a career, they can’t always do the same thing. At its level, the Federal government allowed the Blouse Blanche Fund. It is now necessary to see whether these means are indeed benefiting the intensive care and emergency departments which are the most affected by the crisis. ”

Is the job even more difficult today?

“Nurses have to treat unvaccinated people with fewer staff, the increase in burnouts… they have also had to deal with many patients who have lost their lives with the Covid. ”

However, the healthcare professions attract …

“We have never had so many medical students. We are also working with the Federal government so that nursing assistants who would like to resume nursing studies can do so without losing too much money for a year or two. For trades in short supply, it is necessary to limit the degression. ”

And turn to abroad?

“Ethically, it is not normal that we go looking for nurses in other countries who also need them. ”


Mother of two boys, she preserves her weekends as best she can, in particular by cycling. “I have lived in Esneux for 15 years and I love nature. I cycle there a lot. I would also like to have beehives. I took beekeeping courses before becoming a minister. I could talk about bees for hours on end: the black bee, the horrible fate of male bees who do not know how to feed themselves… ”

Is the environment important to you?

“I am watermelon. Red inside, green outside. She said smiling.

Do you still have time to meet people?

” This is essential. I want to stay in touch with the population. I was still with workers this morning on a construction site. It was obviously more complicated with the Covid, but since the vaccination, I am again in the field. ”

Any particular book you’ve read lately?

“The last book I read is Mona Chollet’s“ Reinventing Love ”. This feminist has a very interesting approach to gender equality ”.


The minister is working on better protection for cleaning ladies.

The minister is working on better protection for cleaning ladies. – DR

A “Titres-Services” decree is on the table in Wallonia. The first measure will be a contract with an average duration of at least 19 hours / week per company to fight against precariousness. “Indeed, we realize that some companies hired workers only 12 hours a week and this had an impact on their pension, their sick leave, their maternity leave… It impoverished the workers. As I have no impact on the pocket wages of the workers, I acted at another level. “

When will this apply?

“As of January 1. In addition, we will allow them to have better training with a minimum of 9 hours of training per year per worker. We are going to make better use of the resources of the Vocational Training Fund. We have also broadened the range of possible training so that they can move on to other types of less arduous jobs. We must be able to recognize that it is difficult to make a full career there. ”

Do you also want to protect them better?

“Many workers have told me that they have had problems with certain users who behave inappropriately. We have implemented a sanction measure which will allow the user to no longer use a service after such facts. This will provide better protection for workers in the event of harassment from users. ”

Have you also planned to enhance their access to driving licenses?

“Having a driver’s license increases the fact of having a job by 10%. Today 44% of job offers on Forem require a driving license. Job seekers in the sector have a 99% chance of being hired unless they do not have a permit. Often, they do not have the financial means to pass this permit. We therefore proposed that service voucher workers also have access to this measure. This is not a way of saying “everything to the car”. It must be objectively recognized that many employers, due to the nature of the job, ask for access to the car, as in the construction sector for example… ”

Not everyone can benefit from this measure …

“It is intended only for job seekers in training. I widened it to the moped. ”


In terms of violence against women, what do you think of #balancetonbar in Brussels?

“This situation also exists in certain places in Wallonia, but not only in bars. I was the first with my colleague Véronique Bonni, regional deputy, to put the question to the Walloon Minister of Transport on sexual harassment in public transport. There was no data. Colleagues would ask me if I had nothing else to do. Even today, many men do not realize that… it is our daily life to be whistled in public spaces, vulgar expressions, people who follow you or touch you. It should be remembered that there have already been 18 feminicides this year. ”

Have you been in the field to see it?

“Between 5 am and 7 am, I was in front of bus shelters in Liège, Verviers… and I interviewed more than 500 people. Today, 17% of cases are mentioned. What is appealing is when I ask a person: have you ever been the victim of harassment, the person says “no”… and when I ask “have you ever been deliberately brushed against”, the person say yes “. We must therefore take the time to fully explain the phenomenon and its implications. ”

Can other actions be taken?

“In Liège, an effort has been made in terms of lighting in public spaces and joggers feel a little more secure. On the 0800.30.030 crisis line, we worked with Petra de Sutter. The listening line’s time slot has been extended. We also carried out an operation with the association of pharmacists, the APB, in the 1,800 pharmacies in Wallonia. It is a place where women can speak freely. We are also working with the Comeos association so that in supermarkets, people can say that they are also suffering from violence. ”


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