Hospital-university (HU) staff, who are professors, researchers and hospital practitioners, constitute an elite body, in both university teaching hospitals and universities alike. They are few in number (less than 10,000, of which about 6,300 are tenured) and are selected after an extremely demanding process. In addition to their threefold role of providing care, teaching and research, they are often heads of departments or sections, as well as independent staff within the university hospital or as an additional job outside, particularly as experts.
A specific disciplinary tribunal, set up at national level, was created in 1958, at the same time as the creation of the university teaching hospitals and the special status of HU staff, to deal with any professional misconduct. With 13 cases identified up to 2015 and 17 cases handled since 2016, this disciplinary jurisdiction has not been very active under its ethical regulation remit, mainly because of its distance from the institutions where these staff work (universities and university hospitals).
Government orders of 17 August 2020 and 13 December 2021 brought significant improvements to the functioning of the tribunal. However, it seems necessary to extend these reforms in order to make the disciplinary procedure more transparent and closer to those under the tribunal’s jurisdiction and those heading the institutions.