Healthcare Situation in New Caledonia Close to 'Very Critical,' Government States

© AP Photo / Thomas PadillaDemonstrators hold Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) flags during a gathering in Paris, Thursday May 16, 2024.
Demonstrators hold Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) flags during a gathering in Paris, Thursday May 16, 2024. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 19.05.2024
PARIS (Sputnik) - French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday that France sent troops to its overseas territory of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean and blocked TikTok amid ongoing riots on the island.
The healthcare situation in France's New Caledonia island is getting "very critical" due to barricades on the roads organized by the supporters of the island's independence, the local government said on Saturday.

"The situation is getting very critical in terms of both medical equipment, care provided and medical personnel. [...] The difficulty is in transporting equipment and personnel due to various road barricades," the government said in a statement.

At the moment the hospitals are recounting the medicines and oxygen stocks and on Saturday a plane is expected to deliver blood supplies, the government added. The medical personnel is working "on its last legs," the crews work without shifts as other staff members cannot get to the work, the statement read.
In this light, the local authorities are calling on the people at the barricades to facilitate the passage of supply convoys for the "survival" of the citizens, who are in acute need of care and food. Earlier, a medical facility in the island's capital city of Noumea was forced to start canceling scheduled appointments to treat those injured in the protests.
A view of the Motor Pool district of Noumea on May 15, 2024, amid protests linked to a debate on a constitutional bill aimed at enlarging the electorate for upcoming elections of the overseas French territory of New Caledonia. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 16.05.2024
France Sends Troops to New Caledonia, Blocks TikTok Amid Riots, Prime Minister States
On Monday, a peaceful demonstration against a bill on voting rights spiraled into unrest in Noumea. Protesters, including many minors, were robbing and setting fire to stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and car centers. On Thursday, French lawmakers voted in favor of the bill 351 to 153 as unrest continued.
The controversial bill provides for lowering the residency bar for voting rights for people living in New Caledonia to 10 years. Pro-independence forces say it would dilute the share of the vote held by indigenous Kanak people that make up about 40% of the population. As of today, only those who were on the electoral register during the 1998 Noumea Agreement, which gave the territory a higher degree of autonomy, along with their children, have the right to vote.