The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ has taken note of the cabinet reshuffle by the premier of Québec, François Legault, and sincerely hopes that the newly-appointed ministers propose concrete solutions for rebuilding the health and social services network and give the healthcare professionals back the means to provide care.
The COVID-19 crisis brought to light the dysfunctions of the network that healthcare professionals have always denounced and for which they have been proposing solutions for a long time. It has to be acknowledged that over the last two years the government has made many statements of intent that have not been translated into reality. “We hope for constructive collaboration and we’ll see if the voices of our members, the healthcare professionals, have really been heard. The FIQ is ready to sit down with the government right now to implement the solutions it is proposing”, stated Nancy Bédard, President of the FIQ.
Christian Dubé and Sonia Lebel have to respond to the nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists’ concerns and those of the people of Québec. This orchestrated reshuffle in the midst of a pandemic is bold, but the FIQ hopes that it is good for its members.
The arrival of Christian Dubé as head of the Ministry of Health and Social Services two years after the CAQ came into power, must lead to action. “If it took two years and a pandemic for this government to gauge the extent of the problems in the health network, we are expecting Mr. Dubé to implement the already known and proven solutions by all stakeholders in the network quickly, including his predecessor Danielle McCann, and act to abolish mandatory overtime”, explained the president.
Ms. Lebel can leave her mark quickly by putting those on the front lines in providing public services at the heart of Québec’s economic recovery. “The negotiation of the renewal of the collective agreement has already started and we hope that the work will progress smoothly, despite this changing of the guard at the head of the Treasury Board. We are expecting Sonia Lebel to put women at the heart of the economic recovery. They deserve working conditions, including salary, commensurate with their outstanding contribution”, continued Ms. Bédard.
Therefore, the FIQ is ready to “wait and see”, but will remain very watchful over the next steps. It wants to remind the two new ministers that among its priorities are:
- Giving healthcare professionals back the means to provide care in decent conditions by reducing their workload and stopping the plague of mandatory overtime;
- Gradually implementing safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios now so that eventually a law on ratios will be passed;
- Making use of the healthcare professionals’ skills and expertise so they can act effectively on access to front-line care.
Crédit photo : Assemblée nationale du Québec; Christian Dubé, président du Conseil du trésor