FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

No more! This ship’s about to sink!

No more! This ship’s about to sink!

For many Quebeckers, the summer heat signals vacation and rest. Meanwhile, for many healthcare professionals, summer vacation is no longer enough to rest and recharge after months and months of hard work in a health network teetering on the edge of collapse. Nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists, I hear your pleas: No more! This ship’s about to sink!

You’re absolutely right! We’re at capacity and need to clean house. The Quebec government and health institution management can no longer deny the obvious. We have reached a breaking point that calls for drastic changes. Work resulting from the provincial day without mandatory overtime is underway in the health institutions but we will only begin to see the benefits in the fall. It’s not enough! Healthcare professionals need a lot more in order to regain hope that things will truly change.

The government needs to demonstrate that it sincerely values the health care team’s work and empty promises won’t do the trick. On that note, it certainly won’t be the government’s summer incentive measure that will convince healthcare professionals of its sincerity. The government should have offered healthcare professionals a little relief while they await concrete solutions to improve their working and practice conditions, including ratio implementation. The government’s “incentive” measure falls cruelly short of the mark.

Furthermore, allowing institution management to punish healthcare professionals who dare to speak up about unacceptable conditions is also not the way to re-establish trust. When a healthcare professional denounces the fact that she has 108 patients in her care, she’s not just doing it for herself, but for the population. This type of call for help should mobilize institution management to find solutions. Alas, instead, they give out disciplinary warnings and threaten them with reprisals.

We must continue to fight against this code of silence, something that should be dead and buried. Please denounce the unacceptable situations you witness. If taking a stand alone is too difficult, take a stand with your colleagues. We are stronger together!

Speaking of unity, the next several months will be largely focused on the provincial negotiations and your mobilization is key. These negotiations are THE important event for our organization and its 76,000 healthcare professionals. It’s also time to participate in the online consultation on sectoral matters. Many of you have already done it, but if you haven’t, get to it! You have until August 16 to do it. Collectively, we can change things.

The summer season is already in full swing but the FIQ is still at work. Like you with your patients, we’re here too.

Have a great summer!