As the tabling of the CAQ government’s first budget approaches, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ is demanding a clear message from the Legault government: “The situation in the health network has never been so critical. An increase in accidents, incapacity to give humane care, excessive workload and mandatory overtime: the healthcare professionals and population have waited long enough. The ratios projects clearly demonstrate that the network has to hire healthcare professionals to improve care for the population. Substantial funding is required in the next budget” stated Nancy Bédard, President of the FIQ.
The FIQ is demanding the Québec government dedicate an exclusive envelope of $350 million dollars to continue the implementation of the healthcare professional-to-patient ratios. This money must be added to the commitments already made for front-line care and the CHSLDs.
“In this era of a budget surplus, it is imperative to reinvest in health care by hiring and the retention of healthcare professionals. Mr. Legault has the opportunity, through his government’s first budget, to move from words to deeds and convince the Québec healthcare professionals that his government has real political willingness to support them. It’s time for action and results. It is urgent to act” continued Ms. Bédard.
$350 million to continue after the first year of the implementation of the ratios
The preliminary findings on the ratios projects from the field speak for themselves: remember that everywhere in Québec, where the ratios projects were promoted by the FIQ, the joint committees first agreed on the addition of staff. Complete and stable work teams with safe ratios have the following effects:
- reduce the workload;
- reduce overtime;
- reduce adverse events (falls, medication errors);
- improve the quality of care for the patients.
“Putting safe ratios in place is the best solution for improving both the healthcare professionals’ working conditions and the quality of care for the population. The projects in the field show this. This government committed during the electoral campaign to create positions for the healthcare professionals and abolish mandatory overtime. The next budget is the opportunity to show they are serious about their commitments in health care” added Jérôme Rousseau, Vice-President at the Federation.
Over the last few weeks, different demonstrations have shown the distress felt in several institutions in the four corners of Québec, particularly linked to the repeated imposition of mandatory overtime. Used as a management method, this systematic use embodies the inability of managers to take into consideration the healthcare professionals’ health and safety, as well as that of the population. “How to explain that there are unlimited budgets for overtime while hundreds of positions have not been offered over the last decade. We are relying on the Minister of Health and Social Services, Ms. Danielle McCann, to ensure that her government gives the institutions the financial means to abolish the MOT like the minister committed to do as it has become impossible for the healthcare professionals to imagine that they can continue to work in these types of conditions. It’s over!” concluded the president of the FIQ.