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Isabelle Porter in Quebec

March 22, 2024

  • Quebec

Ministers Lionel Carmant and Christian Dubé acknowledged that there were “errors” in the mental health dashboard on Thursday and committed to correcting them.

“We want to correct the situation,” declared the Minister responsible for Social Services, Lionel Carmant. “I don’t understand why we removed certain data from the CRDS [Service Request Dispatch Center] because it had been transferred to the access desk. »

The minister was reacting to a report from Devoir on the presence of improbable data on psychiatric waiting lists in the ministry's table.

It was reported in particular that in certain regions, the names of patients were removed from the waiting list when they were directed to the Adult Mental Health Access Center (GASMA), even if the people had not necessarily been supported. The dashboard also showed that there were more people waiting on the Magdalen Islands (18) than in Montreal (13).

Notified of the problem in January by Le Devoir, the Ministry of Health recognized that these data should be interpreted with “caution”, but had kept them as they were.

A decision that Mr. Carmant promised to correct on Thursday. “We asked that there be a mention, a mention saying that the data must be analyzed with caution. » Thursday, at the beginning of the afternoon, a new warning was indeed displayed on the online table to indicate that the “psychiatry data is being verified”.

Liberals argue that dashboards are “useless”

After directing journalists to Mr. Carmant and recognizing the presence of errors, the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, wanted to defend his dashboard.

“It happens, errors in data, but we must not discredit the entire information system we have because a piece of data is not valid,” he said. said.

The minister also stressed that before the launch of the dashboard in 2022, “there was nothing”, and that it was therefore “quite an improvement”.

In Parliament, the opposition did not spare its criticism. The MP for Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Joël Arseneau, stressed that these figures “obviously do not hold water”. “I remind you that in the Magdalen Islands, there are 12,000 inhabitants, in Montreal, in Greater Montreal, 3 million, perhaps more,” declared the PQ elected official, who is also spokesperson for health.

Mr. Arseneau added that the indicators used by the government in the basic table are sometimes “questionable.” He criticizes the Ministry of Health, in its data on the percentage of Quebecers having a family doctor, for now including those who have been taken care of by a group of doctors and those who are at the stage of doing so. demand.

According to Quebec Solidaire MP Vincent Marissal, we can make the figures say “pretty much what we want”. “The minister […] is accountable to the Quebec population, he cannot just take the figures that suit him in the table and say: here, things have improved,” he argued .

His liberal colleague Monsef Derraji said that “dashboards are useless”. “If you see the red light, what interests me is not the color of the light, what interests me is the color of your actions and the results to help the population, whether in education or health. »

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116