Network of health: completed the omertà in the Quebec city region?

Réseau de la santé: terminée l’omertà dans la région de Québec?

The minister of health and social services, Danielle McCann, request the institutions of the health to let employees express themselves freely.

January 22, 2020 4: 00


Network of health: completed the omertà in the Quebec city region?

Réseau de la santé: terminée l’omertà dans la région de Québec?

Elizabeth Fleury

The Sun


Complete the omertà in the network of health, was hammered again Monday, the minister of Health, Danielle McCann. In the region of Quebec, the institutions have put in place any specific measures to respond to the directive of the minister.

The daily newspaper la Tribune has reported in recent days, two cases of employees of the CIUSSS of the eastern Townships who, just before the Holidays, were given suspensions of three to four weeks without pay for having made statements on the social networks. In one case, the nurse had already denounced, in a long cry from the heart on Facebook, the conditions of work that prevail in the department of psychiatry at the Hôtel-Dieu de Sherbrooke.

Without commenting on these specific cases, the office of the minister Danielle McCann reiterated Monday that the law of silence in the health network was “unacceptable” and that the ceos of the institutions had to allow employees to express themselves without fear of reprisal.

The press secretary of the minister, Alexandre Lahaie, told the Sun that the minister came out publicly in November, “but also before”, to stop this omertà and that she had had the opportunity to convey the message to the ceo at committees of management of the network. “She asked the ceo to listen to their suggestions and criticisms without fear of retaliation”, summarized Mr. Lahaie, adding that the message would be repeated “if necessary”.

Alexandre Lahaie, however, refused to move forward on what is specifically expected of the institutions, on what they should do or not do to comply with the request of the minister McCann.

As the CHU de Québec that the CIUSSS of the Capitale-Nationale and the CISSS Chaudière-Appalaches, no specific measures have been put in place to echo the directive of the minister.

The CISSS of Chaudière-Appalaches and the CIUSSS of the National Capital we have, however, mentioned this week they have invited in December their employees to take part in the work surrounding the commission on the DYP chaired by Régine Laurent. The latter had denounced the 5 December the law of silence in which lives of the stakeholders of the DPJ.

The CISSS Chaudière-Appalaches, we made a sign to the employees a “commitment of confidentiality and respect for the policy of information security”, which mainly relates to the privacy of personal information and the security of the assets “informational” and telecommunications of the body.

Social media

The establishment has also received a summary sheet of its directive on use of social media. We can read that “the duty of loyalty to the institution applies on social networks”. “The duty of loyalty requires that you act with discretion, good faith and fidelity at all times, even on social media and in a personal capacity”, said.

The CISSS of the Chaudière-Appalaches also bans “any judgment or about offensive, vexatious, slanderous, offensive, or libelous to the place of a colleague, the institution, user or any other person”.

The CIUSSS of the National Capital, it is stated to encourage and wish for the free expression of the employees, “as long as it is respectful of the users, colleagues and the organization in order not to bring harm to them”.

“Moreover, various mechanisms are in place to allow employees to express themselves in complete confidentiality, and this, regardless of the situation,” says by e-mail the assistant director of communications, Vincent Lamontagne.

According to him, no confidentiality agreement is not subject to employees of the CIUSSS.

“We prefer to educate and equip them about the importance of respect and civility in the exercise of their functions, among others, through our Code of ethics, our Policy on the promotion of civility and the prevention of harassment and violence in the workplace, our Policy on the fight against child abuse, and our Procedure relative to the use of social media. It is very rare and exceptional of situations lead to disciplinary measures,” said Mr. Lamontagne.

At the CHU de Québec, is said to advocate transparency and encourage employees to report wrongdoing.

“We did not have a policy of omertà, we do muzzles not. We never will penalize a person who gives his opinion on social networks or in the media. There was no case of disciplinary action for someone who has denounced something publicly. […] Where there is much less tolerant and where disciplinary measures can be applied, as it is so confidential information on the user is reflected, or if there is physical or verbal violence, or harassment,” said spokeswoman Genevieve Dupuis.

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