Healthcare professionnelles from the FIQ – Syndicat des professionnelles en soins des Laurentides (FIQ – SPSL) call once again on Marguerite Blais, the Minister Responsible for Seniors. They set up 125 coroplast cut-outs of patients outside of her office. “Since they aren’t listening to our words, we are demonstrating what’s going on. How can we, in all seriousness, think that it is possible to offer safe, humane care to a vulnerable population without implementing healthcare professional-to-patient ratios? The work overload our members experience is an affront to healthcare professionals’ and patients’ dignity,” said Julie Daignault, FIQ-SPSL President.
Despite healthcare professionals’ diligence and professionalism throughout the pandemic, it’s clear that the CISSS des Laurentides is using this second wave as an excuse to continue to impose exponential mandatory overtime, to change schedules without warning, and to push exhausted nurses, licensed practical nurses, and respiratory therapists towards the door.
A regional CHSLD deals with a COVID-19 outbreak
The Drapeau-Deschambault CHSLD is dealing with a significant COVID-19 outbreak. 51 out of 132 residents have been infected with COVID-19 and two floors are in isolation. “With a night ratio of one nurse for 132 patients, care quality and safety is compromised. What is happening in the Laurentians is not unique. All across Quebec, healthcare professionals are working hard to contain the pandemic. Neither exhaustion nor the lack of protective equipment stopped them from providing care, but at what cost? Today we are calling on Minister Marguerite Blais: in order to provide quality care to the population, you have to reduce the workload, implement healthcare professional-to-patient ratios, especially in CHSLDs, and set up stable, fully-staffed work teams. We have shown this to be true and Ms. Blais knows it. Her government needs to significantly invest in healthcare professionals’ working conditions,” added FIQ President Nancy Bédard.
In addition to the ratios issue, healthcare professionals in the Laurentians are being forced to do mandatory overtime and they can’t take it anymore. “The employer is managing through ministerial orders, whether by imposing a 12-hour schedule or by mandatory full-time. What will happen to health care once there are even more healthcare professionals on disability due to exhaustion? They are always asked to do more but they have reached their limit and the Minister needs to hear us!,” concluded FIQ-SPSL President Julie Daignault.