FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

Secret meeting of health merchants

On November 5, 6 and 7, in Saint-Sauveur, high-ranking political leaders and directors in the health sector of industrialized countries, from both the public and private sectors, will meet at the World Health Executive Forum in order to exchange on health privatization strategies. We must absolutely denounce this meeting which will be held “behind closed doors, without any journalists, away from the public eye” and ensure that the population makes itself heard.

In Québec, as elsewhere in the world, all public services are affected by a wind of privatization. However, in the past months, the attacks have been particularly violent against the health-care network. Just think of the agreement between Hôpital Sacré-Cœur and the RocklandMD Centre, the launching of a broker agency by the Chaoulli Group, not to mention the report of the taskforce on the funding of the health system to be tabled by Claude Castonguay in December. The conclusions of Mr. Castonguay, whose positions are notorious, can only lead to even greater privatization of health-care services.

With the intrusion of the private sector, we must realize that not only are public services in danger, but so is the model of a fair, egalitarian and supportive society which the Quebec people have opted for. Moreover, one of the perverse effects of privatization in the health-care network is the exacerbation of the shortage. Besides increasing recourse to private agencies, the latter wears out professionals by obliging them to work a greater number of overtime hours.

To denounce the repeated efforts of privatization on the part of dignitaries and businessmen, and to demonstrate the concern and discontent aroused by this secret meeting, there will be a demonstration, in Saint-Sauveur, on Monday November 5, between noon and 1 p.m.. If it is possible for you to do so, you are invited to join the group. This demonstration is part of a series of actions which the Federation will organize in the course of the coming weeks on the issue of privatization of health care. It is essential to withhold the appetite of private enterprise and to show the government that the population is not taken in by its line on privatization.

Union greetings,