We are facing a very busy fall. The recent signature of the new collective agreement will not prevent the Government of Québec from continuing with its healthcare reform and the drastic cuts in the network’s budgets. And no matter what Minister Gaétan Barrette says, it is now clear that the cuts greatly affect the services to the people, at all levels and in all the regions.
For us, it is clearly patient safety that is an issue today. At the beginning of the summer, we made online form available to our members which allows them to report potentially dangerous situations.. Barely two months after this started, this tool has proven to be extremely useful for the members of the FIQ to provide information to our union teams in the field and to get involved in the steps taken with the institutions’ administrations. We are counting on you to use it more so that we can document the shortcomings and thus help us to provide quality, safe and humane care to the population.
Also this summer, after several years of struggle to end the parallel system affecting the working conditions of the healthcare professionals, we won at the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT) (Administrative Labour Tribunal). In its decision, the tribunal concluded that employees working in the public healthcare network cannot withdraw from the applicable institutional framework by having a company not covered by an Act respecting health services and social services (LSSSS) and the other relevant laws in the sector as their employer. The Government should act this fall, following up on this decision and stop being complacent as they been in the past.
Furthermore, on October 26, we are holding an international symposium in collaboration with the SIDIIEF on safe health care. It is an important event to which healthcare professionals, network administrators, researchers in health care and the other labour organizations have been invited. For the first time in Québec and in the French-speaking world, the issue of safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios will be discussed in light of the recent developments in research and international experience. An event not to be missed because the healthcare professional-to-patient ratios are a current issue and will be quickly put on trial here in Québec as part of a trendsetting agreement reached during the last negotiations.
We will definitely be at all the forums this fall and with every opportunity that we are given, we will promote our proposals for a more humane, safe and quality healthcare system. As being 100% healthcare professionals, who have the health of the patients as our focus, we believe that we are in the best position to talk about it.
Have a good return to work everyone!