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L&rsquo ;adoption of Bill 15 denounced by the unions

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According to Minister Dubé, the adoption of this bill will allow, for example, Quebecers to have access to a specialist doctor more quickly.


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After the adoption under gag order of Bill 15 on Saturday morning in the National Assembly, unions were quick to express reservations about the “relevance” of this health reform. Anticipating an “ineffective” reform, heavy bureaucracy and centralization of the health network, several unions fear that the improvement in services offered to patients, promised by Minister Christian Dubé, will not materialize.

The Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ) describes, in a press release, the adoption under gag order of the bill as undemocratic, and denounces the haste of the Minister Dubé to adopt his health reform.

Nearly 400 articles could not be studied in parliamentary committee due to the gag order, which makes unions fear a poorly crafted law.

Magali Picard, president of the Quebec Federation of Workers (FTQ), believes that a reform was necessary and that it was impossible to continue the same health practices. However, in an interview with Radio-Canada, the union leader admits that the adoption of the bill was done quickly.

A bill with 1,200 articles is huge. Did the minister take the time to consult all interested parties? I'm not convinced of that. However, I trust [in] Minister Dubé enough to believe […] that he will remain open, that we will be able to work with him to bring him our proposals, our recommendations.

A quote by Magali Picard, president of the FTQ

Beyond the reservations surrounding the use of the gag, unions are of the opinion that this umpteenth reform will not resolve the most pressing problems of the health network, in particular the shortage of personnel and the poor working conditions offered to workers.

LoadingBill 15 on health reform adopted in Quebec

ELSIDE ON INFO: Bill 15 on health reform adopted in Quebec

According to the CSQ, Minister Dubé ignores all the opposition from citizens and community stakeholders who denounce the changes announced months ago. The minister persists in imposing a reform of which he alone is convinced of the relevance.

The Alliance of Professional and Technical Personnel in Health and Social Services (APTS) denounces the largest health centralization operation in the history of Quebec, which risks, according to the union, affecting the quality of care offered to patients. As a reminder, the Dubé reform provides for the creation of a state corporation, the Santé Québec agency, which will become the largest employer in Canada with more than 300,000 employees.

The Barrette reform [adopted in 2015] is known today as a resounding failure, largely because the concentration of powers paved the way for a central bureaucracy cumbersome and inefficient, which significantly slows down decisions on the ground and therefore undermines the effectiveness of the care and services offered.

A quote from Extract from an APTS press release

Same story from the CSQ, which deplores that Minister Dubé is adopting an entrepreneurial vision to manage the health network. For Luc Beauregard, secretary-treasurer of the central union, it is a social vision that our public network greatly needs to be able to ensure access, equity and quality of services To the population. He writes that after weeks of detailed study, we still do not understand how such a system could be more effective.

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The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, answering questions from the opposition at the Salon bleu on December 8 just before the adoption of the controversial Bill 15. (Archive photo)

The president of the Fédération de la Santé du Québec (FSQ-CSQ), Isabelle Dumaine, also recalls that the reform will considerably modify labor relations and job categories, which risks further disrupting our workplaces. She denounces in particular the minister's desire to unilaterally modify job categories and in particular to “break up” the employment categories. category 1 by removing respiratory therapists. We are talking about a direct attack on freedom of association, she deplores in a press release.

We are aware that it is necessary put in place solutions to improve the organization of work, but a reform can never succeed without the support and mobilization of health personnel, adds Ms. Dumaine.

An opinion shared by Robert Comeau, president of the APTS, who believes that for a reform to work, it must be accepted by the environment in which it must be implemented.

Over the decades, in 2006, we had Dr. Couillard who proposed his reform, and in 2015, that of [Dr] Barrett. Once again, [with Minister Dubé] we have the impression that a person is arriving with his own vision of the health system. We cannot experience changes like that every 10 years.

A quote from Robert Comeau, president of the APTS

Luc Beauregard, secretary-treasurer of the CSQ, also denounces the government's determination to want at all costs to develop private health. At a press briefing on Saturday morning, Minister Dubé indicated that the adoption of this bill will allow citizens to go to the private sector, free of charge, if the reasonable time limits for access to surgery have been exceeded.

The effectiveness of the private sector has never been publicly demonstrated; on the contrary, several studies establish significant shortcomings linked to private partners, such as problems of lack of transparency, communication, training and abusive costs, writes Mr. Beauregard in a press release.

In a press briefing on Saturday morning, Mr. Dubé wanted to reassure employees of the health network . These are people who will experience significant changes in the coming months and it will be up to us to properly explain these changes, he mentioned.

In order to facilitate the transition to the Santé Québec agency, it is absolutely necessary that forums be set up during the transition, defends the APTS.

The survival of our network depends on it. Legislating in one's corner and doing one's own thing, especially when it comes to the health of the population and the social safety net on which the vast majority of Quebecers depend, is irresponsible and disrespectful, adds the union.

With information from Gabrielle Proulx and Alexis Gacon

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