This week, the FIQ made public a survey conducted in the Quebec City area, which shows that nearly 80% of the people would like to be able to consult and be cared for in a clinic composed of healthcare professionals. It was also learned that 9 residents out of 10 believe that the healthcare professionals have to be able to fully carry out their field of practice by providing certain care.
There is nothing surprising in this, and the organization that I represent has been saying this for a long time: it is only by allowing the healthcare professionals to fully carry out their role that we can improve the care and relieve the congestion in the public network. Moreover, it is for this reason that two years ago we decided to support the pilot project of the Coopérative SABSA de Québec nurses clinic.
Furthermore, the project was the subject of a study the conclusions of which are enlightening, to say the least. With this type of clinic we have proven that there are more efficient and less costly ways of providing quality care. Unfortunately, the Minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette, has decided to ignore these results and is refusing to fund the project to ensure that it continues, a decision with which, 64% of the people questioned in our survey said they disagreed.
I have trouble understanding how he can come to that decision. Even our neighbours in Ontario and the United States have understood the importance of putting more emphasis on the healthcare professionals. In a letter sent yesterday to Mr. Barrette, I have invited him to weigh the scope of his choices. I reminded him, in particular, that his government committed to training 2,000 new specialty nurse practitioners (SNP). I cannot see the interest in studying to become a SNP if the government is refusing to give them the chance to practice in complete autonomy in the public sector. Unless, of course, the objective is to push them towards private practice.
The FIQ believes in the idea of setting up neighbourhood clinics. Not only because they reflect our desire to promote a proposal oriented unionism, but also because they are a real solution for the challenges facing the healthcare network at this time, whether Mr. Barrette likes it or not.