The Outaouais healthcare professionals, very angry at the recent statements made by Josée Filion, President-Executive Director of the CISSS de l’Outaouais, demonstrated at lunch time simultaneously in front of the Hôpital de Gatineau and Buckingham. Nancy Bédard, President of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec – FIQ joined the demonstrators in Gatineau supporting their demands and denouncing the situation that has persisted for too long.
The FIQ – Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de l’Outaouais (FIQ-SPSO) thinks the recent statements by Ms. Filion are unacceptable and only widen the gap between the healthcare professionals and the administration. Although she admitted last May needing additional money to administer the services, she is now saying that “it is a lack of focus” and not a lack of funding at the source of the problems with the healthcare services in Outaouais. “What is the PED implying with such an ambiguous statement? Who’s lacking focus? The administration or all the CISSSO employees? Our members are shocked by such a statement,” stated Patrick Guay, Interim President of the FIQ-SPSO.
The union spokesperson thinks the PED should be more sensitive to the healthcare professionals’ situation. “After her about-face on the payment of overtime at 200% for the Labour Day holiday, now she adds insult to injury by planting a doubt about the professional competence of our members,” continued Mr. Guay.
An inspiring ratios project
Like the union president, the FIQ president, Nancy Bédard, has difficulty explaining the lack of leadership right now from the PED. “Ms. Filion has been in the position for more than 6 months. She should be organized to implement solutions that will contribute to an interesting work environment and ensure that the healthcare professionals have the means to provide quality, safe care to the population. I would like to believe that she is already aware of the urgent need to act and of the problems linked to the staff shortage, poor workforce planning and overtime. All these problems that have been raised many times in the past have disastrous affects on the healthcare professionals. The ratios project in the Emergency Department at the Hull hospital has clearly demonstrated the positive effects on the working conditions and quality and safety of the care, but the administration refuses to export it to the Gatineau Emergency Department. It makes no sense,” explained Ms. Bédard.
Listening to the healthcare professionals
It should also be noted that a meeting was requested by the FIQ-SPSO between its president, Ms. Bédard and Ms. Filion, but the latter declined citing lack of availability. Despite this refusal, the local union booked a meeting with the PED on September 19.
Today’s demonstration showed the healthcare professionals are fed up with the union not getting any answers from their numerous interventions. “The healthcare professionals’ exhaustion and distress are at a peak. We no longer want an administration who isn’t listening to the needs of those at the heart of the care provided to the population. Action must be taken now for both the healthcare professionals and patients benefit”, concluded Patrick Guay.
About the FIQ – SPSO
La FIQ – Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de l’Outaouais has more than 2,800 healthcare professionals, the vast majority of nurses, licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapists working in the region’s health and social services institutions. It is affiliated with the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ.