While its president, Nancy Bédard, was meeting with the Minister of Health and Social Services, the FIQ was releasing findings from two surveys on healthcare professional-to-patient ratios. One survey, conducted by the firm Léger, shows that 80% of the Quebec population agrees with the FIQ’s proposal to create legislation for safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios. It also says that 77% of respondents think that healthcare professionals have too many patients to care for at once.
“That’s major support. The Quebec public sees the same things we do. Healthcare professionals have too many patients in their care at the same time and the best way to change that is to implement safe ratios. We have been working on this solution for quite some time. Ratios are the FIQ’s priority and we hope that the public’s support will encourage all political parties to get on board. We are currently working with the Health Minister to implement 16 pilot projects in Quebec, but we won’t stop there. We plan on making our voice heard over the next few months so that these projects become the standard across the health network— for the good of patients and healthcare professionals,” said FIQ President Nancy Bédard.
30% of healthcare professionals are considering leaving the profession
The FIQ also hired the firm Repère to conduct a survey among healthcare professionals on the quality and safety of patient care. The survey reveals that the excessive workload and high number of patients would prompt 30% of nurses, licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapists to consider leaving the profession.
“It’s an alarming figure. Women and men who choose to go into nursing care dream of providing the best possible care. Unfortunately, this dream is often broken. We need to give them the proper conditions to provide proper care. And there is hope. Over 85% of healthcare professionals say that ratios that would limit their patient load would encourage them to stay in the profession. That’s what we need to focus on,” said Nancy Bédard.
A third meeting with the Health Minister in one month.
The FIQ president met with Minister Gaétan Barrette for the third time in one month to find solutions to remedy healthcare professionals’ excessive workloads and distress. They also established a game plan to implement 16 pilot projects this spring.
“I voiced my dissatisfaction with the attitudes of managers in 11 regions. They still haven’t understood the urgent need to take action to solve these problems. Team stability needs to be a priority and the scourge of mandatory overtime must be curbed. The Minister agreed to do whatever is necessary to get managers to cooperate with us. Five regions have already agreed upon solutions with the FIQ’s unions. The institutions need to get to work because our members’ distress is not decreasing,” said the FIQ president.
“We also established a game plan to implement 16 safe ratio pilot projects this spring. The joint FIQ and MSSS committee will meet today and has three weeks to determine the first three institutions to host the pilot projects. The committee will also establish the ratios and the implementation schedule. I will meet with the Minister again in three weeks for an update,” concluded Nancy Bédard.