The decisive contribution of Regional and University Hospitals to life and health sciences

Tasked with a threefold mission of health care, education and research-innovation, regional and university hospitals (CHRUs) have signed 80 world firsts since they were set up in 1958. Thanks to these discoveries, millions of lives have been relieved, cared for and saved.

Renowned as major sites for the production of biomedical research, university hospital campuses are privy to a special scientific continuum: their investigation programs are based on the findings obtained in their laboratories by their many fundamental research teams and carried out as part of clinical research conducted directly at the patient’s bedside, within activity clusters or one of 131 specialist platforms (77 federative research institutes and 54 clinical investigation centers). In this way, every year more than 60,000 voluntary patients are included in protocols and benefit from the very latest therapeutic breakthroughs under optimum conditions of safety, quality and ethics.

This translational research leads to the development of new treatments or new diagnostic techniques. The CHRUs also work on developing industrial applications on the basis of these innovations through innovative partnerships with universities, research institutes, public investors and private businesses.

“In a strong position thanks to their hospital and university links, CHRUs give the French National Alliance for Life and Health Sciences direct access to clinical research and patient-based research. Through their participation in this national coordination, the CHRUs hope to gain the deserved recognition of the importance of this contribution to clinical research and of the investment of their university-hospital and hospital teams in this area,” says Didier Delmotte, Chairman of the Commission for Research and Links with Universities of the French Association of CHRU CEOs and Lille CHRU CEO.

CHRUs promote biomedical research

56% of French publications in biomedical research come from hospitals and universities. The 32 CHRUs have 625 university hospital teams that have been accredited by a public research institution (such as the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research or the French National Center for Scientific Research) and coordinate 131 reference centers for rare diseases. They conduct 1,342 active clinical trials a year and each take part in an average of 21 international research programs.

CHRUs, facts & figures

As local hospitals, pivotal institutions and reference and appeal centers, the 32 Regional and University Hospitals welcome 5 million inpatients a year as well as 17 million patients for appointments. These very large public service firms account for a third of French public hospital admissions:

  • 35% of hospital capacity in France with some 61,000 beds and places (56,000 beds and 5,000 places)
  • 33% of operating budgets, or more than 23.7 billion euros
  • 34% of medical and non-medical staff in public health institutions.

With 270,000 staff members (full-time equivalent), CHRUs feature among the biggest employers in towns and cities, and even in the counties and regions where they are based.

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