Ninety-four percent of the Québec population say they are uneasy receiving care from a healthcare professional who has worked more than 16 consecutive hours. Moreover, 80% of the population believes that healthcare professionals are overworked and more than a third have witnessed situations where they seemed not to have the time to do their job properly. These are the results of a survey conducted by the Léger firm for the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ.
“We are repeatedly telling the Minister of Health that the healthcare professionals’ excessive workload has to stop, but the government turns a deaf ear. Now, we hope he will listen to the Québec people and realize all the dangers that this excessive workload for the healthcare professionals entails”, stated the president of the FIQ, Régine Laurent.
Evidence of failure for Liberal reforms
For a very large majority of respondents (89%), the situation in the health network is the same or worse than three years ago. 72% of them feel the government has made too many cutbacks. “The Québec people are not fooled.
Despite Minister Barrette’s claim, the Liberal reforms have not produced any results and care delivery has not improved, quite the contrary. Instead of being so stubborn the Minister of Health should listen. We presented him with several solutions for improving the quality and accessibility of the care” continued Régine Laurent.
Ratios and more full-time positions
Implementation of healthcare professionals-to-patient ratios is one of the solutions proposed by the FIQ. Significant improvements have been seen in several countries where ratios of this type have been installed. The quality and safety of care were improved, excessive workload for the staff reduced and reduction of costs have also been seen in several places. In the Léger survey, 83% of respondents stated they agreed with setting up healthcare professional-to-patient ratios in Québec. “We have been proposing installing ratios to the government for some time now. We are ready to work with them to do this, but no progress has been made with the Minister of Health”, lamented the president of the FIQ.
To alleviate the healthcare professionals’ excessive workload, the FIQ has asked the government to upgrade the number of full-time positions for them. Currently, only 50% of nurses, 33% of licensed practical nurses and 48% of respiratory therapists have a full-time position. More full-time positions encourage the stability of the work teams and ensure better care delivery to the population.
“The minister agrees with us about creating more full-time positions, it’s even in the collective agreement. The problem is that the CISSS and CIUSSS administrators don’t listen and refuse to work with us to upgrade the number of full-time positions. It makes no sense. Minister Barrette must use the super-powers he gave himself and force the administrators to comply”, concluded Régine Laurent.
The web survey was conducted by the Léger firm from July 26 to August 5, 2017 with a representative sample of 1,960 Quebecers. The maximum margin of error for a sample of 1,960 respondents is ± 2.2%, 19 times out of 20 (in 95% of cases).