The FIQ and FIQP ask political parties to take a stance!
Provincial elections are just around the corner on October 3, 2022, and we are 76,000 healthcare professionals who will make our voices heard during the election campaign.
There are concrete solutions for putting an end to the mandatory overtime imposed on us.
It is high time that we eradicate the unequal treatment that puts us at a disadvantage with regard to our colleagues in private agencies and that we attract and retain healthcare professionals in the public system.
The shortage of healthcare professionals is structural and can be reversed with the proper political will.
It is difficult to balance our work and personal lives as a 90% female workforce.
It is unacceptable that we must deal with a perpetual lack of time. It undermines our ability to provide our patients with safe, quality care.
We ask that Quebec’s political parties commit to creating a law on safe ratios. Ratios are the structural measure that will enable us to catch our breath.
What are the advantages of having a law on safe ratios?
A better professional practice and safe, quality care
Having a law on ratios would legally ensure a standard of safe, quality care, regardless of what services are required and where. This guarantee would largely reduce the inequalities between regions and care units.
Being able to use all of our expertise and skills to benefit our patients (something that is currently impossible due to our terrible working conditions) would give us better work satisfaction.
While taking the time to care for patients, apply preventive measures and provide education are core elements of our profession, it now feels as though these practices belong to some utopic world. Yet, they are at the heart of a practice that would allow us to provide preventive care, especially with regard to social determinants of health (education, housing, sexual orientation and income), rather than limiting our interventions to curative care.
A structural solution to abolish MOT
The mandatory overtime (MOT) imposed on us is a scourge that has pushed thousands to leave the profession. However, our mobilization actions have shown that it is very possible to schedule staff without using MOT. What government will have the courage to impose this standard on network managers?
Healthcare professional-to-patient ratios are based on increased job structures that must ensure there is a sufficient number of healthcare professionals at patients’ bedsides at all times. This drastically reduces the number of understaffed shifts.
Ratios are an attraction and retention measure because they improve working conditions. The increased staff presence also reduces MOT.
A work-family-personal life balance measure
To implement ratios, it is necessary to set up stable, adequately staffed job structures. Ratios are key to achieving a better work-family-personal life balance since our professions are predominantly female and a majority of women are responsible for domestic and family related tasks.
A condition to counter the healthcare professional shortage
Across the world, the implementation of safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios has been a catalyst for bringing thousands of healthcare professionals back to the public system from the private sector. In Quebec, there have never been so many active healthcare professionals as there are now. There are 7.7 nurses per 1,000 inhabitants, which is an excellent average when compared with the rest of Canada.
There is a shortage of healthcare professionals in the public network but this is attributable to a shortage of good working conditions and not to a lack of qualified staff. Political parties must commit to remedying this situation and bringing healthcare professionals back to the public network.
The key to putting an end to the inequalities between healthcare professionals in private and public health care
Ratios will improve working conditions in the public network. They are essential to closing the gap between unjustified disparities in working conditions among healthcare professionals who often work side by side.
Leverage for a strong, universal, resilient public network
Implementing safe ratios isn’t just an expense, it’s an investment in our public health system. The pandemic exacerbated the deep issues that years of poor management, reforms and budget cuts had caused. This sad reality caused avoidable deaths and pushed thousands of us to leave the public network.
Private businesses, in particular surgery clinics and employment agencies, made record profits by exploiting shortcomings in the network. To invest in safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios is to concretely improve care quality and safety and to take action that has a direct impact on our working conditions. Investing in public services also means promoting a better distribution of wealth and helping to reduce social inequality.
As 76,000 progressive women of action who fight against systemic racism, we are asking political parties for their solutions to improve access to places in early childhood education, for their concrete and immediate solutions for dealing with climate change and for the measures they will rapidly set in motion to fight against all types of discrimination.
Places in early childhood education
To implement ratios, you need healthcare professionals who can work based on their preferred availability. The shortage of places in early childhood education forces healthcare professionals to reduce their availability, and even postpone their return to work after a parental leave. Having children should not be an obstacle to financial independence for women. Parties should have a plan and clear commitments to increase the number of places in the short-term, not in five years time.
Fight against climate change
A major challenge over the next years will be to mitigate the impacts of global warming caused by human activity. The consequences will be catastrophic for public health if nothing is done in prevention. Women have taken a leadership role in this fight and we want to continue that. Political parties must make clear, strong commitments that can be implemented quickly to stop global warming and encourage community resilience.
The fight against systemic racism
It is absolutely essential that our society is egalitarian and inclusive to all. Systemic racism is a significant part of the discrimination that affects a large portion of the Quebec population. The political parties should commit to recognizing systemic racism, fighting it and upholding Joyce’s Principle to ensure that we, and our racialized patients, can receive health care that is free of racism.
Registration on the voters list
To vote, you must be registered on the voters list with your home address.