The assault is rising in the midst of the health

Les agressions en forte hausse dans le milieu de la santé

In a context of shortage of labour in the quebec network, such accidents and assaults pose an additional burden on the services.

On December 8, 2019

Updated on December 9, 2019 at 0: 30am


The assault is rising in the midst of the health

Ugo Giguère

The Canadian Press


The trade unions of workers of health and social services are sounding the alarm and urging the government of Quebec to act in the face of a significant increase in the number of violent acts and accidents at the workplace in which their members are victims.

According to data obtained by the trade unions with the ministry of Health and social Services (MSSS) as well as the Committee on standards, equity, health and safety in the workplace (CNESST), the costs associated with acts of violence committed against health care workers have soared 82 % in the past two years.

In the same vein, the costs associated with falls have jumped 45 % and those related to musculoskeletal disorders have increased by 36 %.

“It is as if one had the impression that staff in health and social services, it is of robots. We can’t get sick. It can’t happen because you care and that they are treated, but no! The figures prove it,” observes Claire Montour, president of the Fédération de la santé du Québec, affiliated to the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (FSQ-CSQ).

The national Committee for inter-union of health and safety, which includes seven trade union organisations, questioned the minister of Labour, Employment and social Solidarity, Jean Boulet, the minister of Health and social Services, Danielle McCann, as well as the CNESST to “assume their responsibilities” and that they “respond to the heights that command the current crisis”.

Claire Montour states that the trade unions have long demanded that the health network to be included in the list of priority sectors in the implementation of the Law on health and safety at work.

“We don’t want to hear from us, we do not want to treat seriously of the subject, and to bring in the necessary measures,” says the one who is first a nurse.

According to Ms. Montour, the unions have chosen to take action now because the minister is Jean Boulet prepares to file an amendment to the law, and that the opportunity would therefore be ideal, in their view, to edit the famous list.

“When you’re a declared priority in the act, it is necessary that the institutions will have a prevention program. It may relate to adaptation, the development, the organization of work, equipment, material, contaminants, lists the president of the FSQ-CSQ. This is to reduce the number of workers injured on the job. There is one thing that is certain, it is that there are people at the end of it. These are people who are suffering.”

Vicious cycle of distress

In a context of shortage of labour in the quebec network, such accidents and assaults pose an additional burden on the services. These injuries at work resulted in an increase of 34 % of the hours of absence for reasons of health in all public institutions.

In 2018, this are 4.4 million hours that could not be worked by employees of the health to cause of the work accident. This represents 2400 full-time positions.

In addition, beyond the physical health status of workers in the network, it is their mental health that is challenged by the crisis situation with which they are confronted. In 2017 and 2018, 39 % of the cases of benefits in the salary insurance were supported by a mental health diagnosis.

“Everyone notes the damage in their daily lives. We find it surprising to be told: “it is expensive to the health system, it is necessary to watch, you can not invest in an unlimited way”. Yes, but correct already this aspect and it is going to be a winner,” explains Claire Montour.

The national Committee for inter-union of health and safety brings together the Alliance’s professional and technical staff of the health and social services (APTS), the Fédération de la Santé du Québec (FSQ-CSQ), the Fédération de la santé et des services sociaux (FSSS-CSN), the Fédération des professionnelles (FP-CSN), the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), the canadian Union of public employees (CUPE-FTQ) and the Syndicat québécois des employees and employees of service (SQEES-FTQ).

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