FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

Reinforcement of first-line care: One step has been taken. Let’s continue!

I am happy to see that the action plan presented last Sunday by the Minister of Health andSocial Services, Réjean Hébert, includes a vision similar to the one promoted by the FIQ forseveral years now. Finally, a minister who chooses to work on reinforcing first-line care in such a way that it will inevitably reduce the pressure on the emergency departments and the rest of the network. This is more than good news, it is a real breath of fresh air!

Over the years, the Québec healthcare system has undergone a series of reforms which in somecases has not given the expected results and even added to the weakening of a system lackingoxygen and discouraged the next generation of workers.

If certain measures, like Bill 90, responded in part to the healthcare professionals’ needs inorder for them to use their skills and knowledge to the maximum, the strong resistance fromthe medical field and a lack of political willingness resulted in it never being possible to get thefull potential from it.

Today, it is a known fact: prevention, better patient management and adequate follow-up in thecommunity result in less need for hospitalization. Thus, improvement in access and continuity ofcare will inevitably occur through interdisciplinary practice, where all those on the care teamwork together, with similar resources and with the same goal.

Therefore, I am urging Minister Hébert to continue on the path that he seems to be fairlycommitted to, while reminding him of the importance of bringing down the barriers whichuselessly fuel the futile “squabbles” that still run rampant in the health network.

I salute the involvement of the president of the Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens duQuébec, Dr. Louis Godin. The support he has shown for the action plan to reinforce first-linecare demonstrates his commitment to work at implementing lasting solutions. There is no doubtthat there is a lot to do with some of his members in order to make them aware of the need toinstill a real culture of collaboration. Knowing Dr. Godin, I am confident he will succeed.

I invite Minister Hébert’s colleagues in the National Assembly, from all political parties, toseriously consider this project and to make a positive contribution to it. The people of Québechave already waited long enough. It is high time that action is taken for a quality, universal public healthcare system that is accessible to all.

Ensuring the long-term survival of the public healthcare system that Quebecers gave themselvesmay seem to be a very big task. The solution however is simple: the right person in the rightplace and the assurance for everyone that they will have the means to fully assume their role,with respect for the skills and expertise of the other, for the well-being of the population. Onestep has been taken. Let’s continue!