“Ratios for humane care”, that is the bold message displayed by the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ today outside four CHSLDs in Montréal, Quebec City, Trois-Rivières and Joliette. This day of mobilization will bring together dozens of healthcare professionals who are demanding the government gradually implement, starting now, safe ratios in the CHSLDs in the province so they can give their patients the quality care to which they are entitled.
At the CHSLD Denis-Benjamin-Viger, in Montréal, just like at the CHSLD Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, in Quebec City, only two licensed practical nurses and two nurses share the care of the 125 residents during the night. In Trois-Rivières, one nurse and two licensed practical nurses work with 80 patients on evenings and nights. In Lanaudière, the licensed practical nurses are in short supply.
On the strength of the conclusive experience of the ratios projects and many examples of success elsewhere in the world, the FIQ believes that the gradual implementation of safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios in CHSLDs is the best defence against the excessive workload and staff shortage. The FIQ is demanding the implementation start now and continue over the next three years, the expected length of the next collective agreement.
“The situation was already very difficult in the CHSLDs, with inhumane ratios, but working conditions have become simply unbearable during the crisis, says the president of the FIQ, Nancy Bédard. This disaster has had a profound effect on the healthcare professionals, residents, their loved ones, and the entire population of Québec. This must never happen again and ratios are the solution for giving the elderly the safe, quality care to which they are entitled.”
“The government often talks about the lack of personnel in the network. Implementing the ratios, that gesture will attract healthcare professionals who can look forward to better conditions for themselves and their patients. The healthcare professionals have plenty of solutions like that to propose!”, explained Jérôme Rousseau, joint political officer for the provincial negotiations.
Other measures for a more reasonable workload
Stabilization of teams, reduction in overtime and mandatory overtime, recognition of training, creation of new job titles, valuing the work of specialty nurse practitioners, implementing preventive measures in occupational health and safety; the FIQ presented about twenty other demands to the employer party, demands that will make a real difference in the daily lives of healthcare professionals and their patients.
“There is an urgent need to act to reduce the healthcare professionals’ workload. The government must take this opportunity to stop the haemorrhage looming in the healthcare network, when healthcare professionals are more and more likely to think about resigning”, says Roberto Bomba the joint officer for the provincial negotiations.
To consult the FIQ demands: fiqsante.qc.ca/nego2020/en