QS takes the pulse of hospitals before the start of parliament
The president of the council of physicians at the Lachine hospital, Paul Saba, with solidarity deputy Vincent Marissal.
MP Vincent Marissal was at the Lachine hospital on Thursday to “reconnect with the field”. The one who wears the hat of spokesperson for Quebec solidaire in terms of health has started a tour of the province to meet the staff on the front line. The information reported will serve as a basis for the party's work in the National Assembly.
“The health record in Quebec is a shame,” says Dr. Paul Normand, specializing in internal medicine. The latter studied medicine in the United States before returning to La Belle Province to practice his profession.
I believed in public health care – that’s why I came back – but it is expensive. For someone like Legault, it's wasted money because there's no return [on investment].
Dr. Paul Normand, physician specializing in internal medicine in Lachine
Dr. Normand particularly regrets not having access to all of a patient’s medical data – his x-rays performed in a private clinic, for example – simply by their health insurance number. This is what the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) proposed in the campaign with the Votre Santé application.. “The CAQ has an objective but not necessarily the means,” criticizes Vincent Marissal, however.
The main problem lies in the privatization of the system, which the parliamentarian from Québec solidaire opposes. “In health, the only announcement [caquiste] in Montreal: Christian Dubé [Minister of Health and Social Services] came to Anjou to announce two private hospitals. It's runny. He could have announced the reconstruction of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital.”
Put an end to employment agencies
The health sector is facing a shortage of labour, particularly marked among nurses. Across the entire healthcare network, there would be 8,000 fewer employees in October 2022 than in September 2021, according to figures revealed by La Presse.
“When people leave, it’s hard to get them back [into the audience]. We must provide winning conditions,” said Dr. Paul Saba, president of the board of physicians at Lachine Hospital. He believes that the government must be “competitive”, with good salaries, bonuses and flexible hours, in order to prevent the flight of professionals to employment agencies.
The agencies are there to make money because they know the government is in trouble. The agency tries with prohibitive rates on schedules it chooses. They were a temporary solution, a necessary evil, and they became masters of the game. We created a monster.
Vincent Marissal, MNA for Québec solidaire and spokesperson for the health file
< p>The member for Québec solidaire proposes setting the end of the use of placement agencies at three years. It is thus necessary to give them “much less advantageous conditions” while improving the working conditions of the public sector. For this, the priority is the end of mandatory overtime (TSO).
“The government needs to be flexible with working conditions while providing benefits to health care workers who work, even part-time,” insists Dr. Saba. For the next four years, the deputy Marissal wants to fight against the “galloping privatization” wanted by the CAQ, inspired, he judges, by the Barrette reform. “Dubé is just more skilful, it’s privatization with a smile,” he blurts out.
Suggestions for the long term
Just like Prime Minister François Legault, Dr. Paul Saba would like the federal government to increase its health financial contribution to the provinces from 22% to 35% “immediately”.
Above all, it identifies other factors that can solve the problems facing the public health system. According to him, placements in schools for nurses and respiratory therapists should be increased.
Recall that the pass rate for the professional exam of the Ordre des nurses du Québec (OIIQ) was 51% in September 2022. have not been able to pass theirs, with intensive preparation for the next few weeks. We have to help them get to work quickly,” he thunders.
To reduce wait times for a family doctor, Dr. Saba suggests “increasing medical school enrollment” by at least 400 more places per year.
>In addition, as for the crisis committee set up by Christian Dubé to monitor the situation in emergencies in Greater Montreal, the doctor would like “half of the people” to be health professionals. “The solutions will come from the people on the ground, not from the administrators who are often disconnected” from it.