During rush hour this morning, Montrealers will be able to see an explicit message in the sky over the city from the healthcare professionals of Montréal for the Québec premier: “Legault, on veut des ratios !” (Legault, we want ratios!).
This enormous advertising message, pulled by a plane, is from the Montréal unions affiliated to the FIQ and FIQP, members of the Montréal Regional Action and Consensus-Building Table (TRAC). Another message, in English this time, will be displayed in the late afternoon.
To reduce the environmental impact of this visibility action, the Montréal TRAC will offset greenhouse gas emissions through the purchase of carbon credits.
Hecatomb in CHSLDs: never again
“We said it long before COVID-19, there must be safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios in CHSLDs so healthcare professionals have a reasonable workload and they can provide care to the best of their knowledge and abilities, stated Kathleen Bertrand, President of the FIQ–Syndicat des professionnelles en soins du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, and Stavros Birbatakos, President of the FIQ–Syndicat des professionnelles en soins du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, spokespersons for the Montréal TRAC. The hecatomb we saw in the Montréal CHSLDs and private subsidized institutions (EPC) must never happen again.”
Selon des statistiques de la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), 3,570 deaths were caused by COVID-19 in the Greater Montréal area. Of this number, 80% of the people who died lived in a CHSLD or private residence for the elderly. *
“This number is devastating and this tragic situation has left deep scars on the healthcare professionals who work in the Montréal CHSLDs and EPCs. They are outraged and demand rapid and concrete changes” say the spokespersons.
Roll out the ratios now
According to the Palmarès des pires ratios en CHSLD that the FIQ broadcast this fall, there are 17 CHSLDs and EPCs in Montréal considered “very dangerous” when we look at the average ratios per shift. This is a lot!
In the current provincial negotiations, the FIQ and FIQP are demanding a gradual roll out of safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios over three years in all the CHSLDs in Québec.
“This is an opportunity for the government to listen to the solutions proposed by the nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists, because they are the real experts on care. Putting the ratios in the collective agreement would be a strong gesture from the government. This gesture will attract healthcare professionals to the network and force employers to respect the ratios, for the well-being of the patients and healthcare professionals who give them care every day”, hammered Ms. Bertrand and Mr. Birbatakos.
For institutions without a CHSLD, for example the CHUM or Institut de cardiologie de Montréal, the rollout of ratios must begin in the Emergency or Medicine-Surgery centres of activities, based on an assessment of the needs by the local parties.