The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec – FIQ was very disappointed with Premier François Legault’s inaugural speech. “While his speech was imbued with humanism and spoken in a comforting tone, health care was barely mentioned. There were no real commitments to improve the network for healthcare professionals and patients. Mr. Legault’s speech did not live up to the promises the CAQ made in recent months. Healthcare professionals were hoping that the new government had heard their cry of distress and would provide concrete solutions to alleviate it. In light of what we heard this afternoon, a clear verdict is out: the Premier missed the mark in his inaugural speech with healthcare professionals,” said Nancy Bédard, FIQ President, at the National Assembly for the speech.
Safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios
The FIQ believes that it is a critical time for the health network and that the government needs to take drastic measures to correct the situation, especially just before a period that is often difficult for healthcare professionals. “If the CAQ intends, as it claimed over and over in the last few weeks, to alleviate the workload, eliminate mandatory overtime and improve care access and quality, then not only must we maintain the healthcare professional-to-patient ratio projects underway, but also implement ratios in every health care institution throughout Quebec. We will use every method possible to help the government see that this is the most promising solution for the future of the public healthcare system,” said Ms. Bédard.
Putting an end to medical corporatism
The FIQ urges the government to tread carefully in their approach to improving access to front-line services. “Focusing on family medicine groups (GMF) and private structures would be a big mistake. Continuing in that direction would mean once again putting control over front-line services in doctors’ hands. Access to front-line services comes through full recognition of healthcare professionals’ skills and expertise,” explained the union spokesperson.
All governments commit to properly managing public finances and the CAQ is no exception. “However, it should not be done at the expense of public health services or of the thousands of healthcare professionals who struggle every day to provide and ensure safe, quality care. And in response to Mr. Legault saying that he will not govern for groups like unions, we would like to say that unions are composed of women and men who work, have families and contribute to Quebec society,” declared the president.
In closing, the FIQ applauds the government’s intention to create a provincial policy for informal caregivers, to invest in senior care in CHSLDs and home care. “We hope that above and beyond this speech, in the coming weeks the government will announce concrete actions to reduce healthcare professionals’ workload and mandatory overtime. We are making a serious request to the Premier and Health Minister to take quick action because healthcare professionals need a clear sign that the government has heard them,” concluded Ms. Bédard.
Photo: The Canadian Press/Jacques Boissinot