Reacting to the opening remarks of Premier François Legault, the interim president of the FIQ, Nathalie Levesque, believes that there can be no real cultural change in the network without firm commitments to address the current crisis in working conditions.
“We have given ourselves a path to follow and we need everyone to row in the same direction. The immediate priority to bring thousands of healthcare professionals back into the public health network is to make it an employer of choice again. To succeed, the government must respect its promises and not engage again in a new reform. We need to give ourselves the capacity to respect the work contract that we have just signed; respecting it and keeping its promises is in itself a revolution.”Nathalie Levesque, Interim President, Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec¬–FIQ
“It’s time for political choices. It is always heartbreaking, but to maintain a service offer at all costs with reduced and exhausted staff is to put patient safety at risk, as well as that of healthcare professionals. We need to start somewhere.”
Stabilizing the work teams, installing safe ratios and banning the systematic use of MOT to compensate for absences are the solutions that healthcare professionals have been demanding for years. It’s high time that the government listens to them. They know better than anyone the conditions needed for convincing them to return to the public health network.
Measures that must meet the objectives
In the eyes of the interim president, there is no doubt that to convince healthcare professionals to return to the public health network, it must become attractive again. “We have barely signed our collective agreement and the government is already trying to deviate from it. Although the premier mentioned it in his remarks, the government is working alone in its corner, and is presenting us with a fait accompli, such as the passing of ministerial orders. Working together means joint decisions and sharing information. His intention of wanting to create a public employment agency without considering whether it really meets the need of healthcare professionals in the field is a good example.
The staff shortage will not be solved by retention premiums with too many strings attached, or by introducing new reforms that would put a damper on the efforts of the past 18 months to stabilize work teams and reduce workforce mobility.