According to the government, NO!
For almost a month now, the Minister of health and social services has continuously repeated that there is no code of silence repressing health network workers. She has confirmed that she needs information from them in order to correct the deficiencies in various centres of activities, especially during the pandemic. Recently, the MSSS set up an email account called “Je vous écoute” (I’m listening to you) in order to hear healthcare professionals’ experiences. But is this initiative and the Minister’s repeated affirmation that there’s no longer a code of silence enough to really make it disappear?
Several local unions have confirmed that to date, various employers have met with employees who made public statements in order to ensure their “healthy cooperation.” There have also been reports of healthcare professionals being penalized for having publicly denounced situations that put patients’ or healthcare professionals’ safety at risk. Some employment contracts in certain institutions even have clauses that prohibit employees from disclosing any information that goes against the institution’s interests. Minister McCann promised that she would review this type of clause.
Are we supposed to believe that the government’s desire that healthcare professionals be able to freely denounce unacceptable situations without worry has not simply been heard by the CEOs in Quebec’s health institutions? It goes without saying that healthcare professionals are in a position to see firsthand what’s not working in the health network and that it is part of their role as advocates to denounce unacceptable situations to defend their patients’ interests.