FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

Cause for worry

If you have not done so yet, I encourage you to read the following article . It was written by Damien Contandriopoulos, researcher from the University of Montreal. He has depicted quite a worrisome picture, to say the least. Let us be reminded that this researcher has conducted many studies on the nursing profession, including some pertaining to the evaluation of the SABSA clinic.

However, it would also appear that, until recently, Mr. Contandriopoulos was taking part in a committee that was mandated to study the link between the methods of remuneration for physicians and the performance of the healthcare system. Alas, this committee never had the chance to fulfill their mandate requirements because the position of Commissaire à la santé et au bien-être (CSBE – Commissioner of health and wellbeing), who had put together this committee, was just cut by Minister Barrette.

What is alarming is that, during the commotion of this announcement, an impromptu request for access to information was submitted and subsequently brought to light correspondences between both federations of physicians (FMSQ and FMOQ) as well as many influential people within the healthcare network and the research sector. These messages aimed at discrediting Mr. Contandriopoulos and removing him from the committee in question. The arguments brought forward in defense of their methods during this exchange are what is the most frightening about this situation. Among others, it was mentioned that the researcher published an article that went against the interests of the federations.

It seems that the concepts of independent research and scientific rigor are lost on some. You would think that, of all people, physicians would be conscious of proper scientific practices.

Of course, this is reminiscent of the methods used by the Stephen Harper government, which silenced scientists by cutting their funding and forbidding them from speaking publicly of their work. In fact, as was mentioned by Antoine Robitaille in his editorial piece from April 26 in reference to another one of Gaétan Barrette’s dubious decisions, the Philippe Couillard government currently seems to be completely disregarding one of the fundamental principles of governance: transparency.

We are hard pressed not to draw a parallel between this ideological concept of science and Minister Barrette’s equally ideological decision of cutting the CSBE position and consequently putting an end to the work being done by the committee evaluating the remuneration of physicians. It is just as easy to make a connection between this event and Minister Barrette’s rejection without appeal of the SABSA report, in which Damien Contandriopoulos took part and demonstrated the value of clinics managed by healthcare professionals.