Drawing from his dual experience in the army and in fire departments – which are also major actors of the French medical emergency services – General Joël Prieur attests to the success of military methods in the field of civil defense. Observing the current (mis)management of the COVID-19 pandemic, he considers their extension into the wider health services. According to him, the state’s “silo” organizational model is not well suited to deal with crises, defined by urgency and uncertainty, and neither is its traditional method of decision-making process focused on expert consultations and functional lead meetings. He suggests public administration, in particular health agencies, could benefit from the military model, based on an efficient organization in emergency operational centres (EOC) and a proven operational decision-making process (MDMP). This model could restore the state’s agility and efficacy that it currently lacks in times of major crises, as recently pointed out by General Lizurey, former director of the Gendarmerie in his report to the Prime Minister four monthes after the beginning of Covid crisis.
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