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Family doctors to drop patients on June 1

Photo: Christinne Muschi La Presse canadienne Le ministre de la Santé, Christian Dubé, a déclaré devant un parterre de militants qu’il n’acceptera « jamais qu’on prenne la population en otage pour des négociations ».

Clinics are sending letters to their patients to inform them that they will find themselves without a family doctor as of June 1, pointing to the end of an agreement with the government on orphan patients. By doing so, doctors are taking the population “hostage” and negotiating “with a “gun” to the temple,” thundered the Minister of Health on Saturday, Christian Dubé.

The Clinique Médicale de la Vallée, located in Saint-Raymond, for example, sent a letter to its patients in which it explains that in the absence of an agreement with the government, it cannot “maintain the offer” to welcome orphan patients beyond May 31.

“Please be assured that all the doctors at the clinic are sorry not to be able to offer you an alternative and regret not being able to see you,” reads the message signed by the medical clinic, and that The Duty was able to consult. The letter then invites patients to contact their deputies.

At the general council of the Coalition Avenir Québec on Saturday, Minister Dubé declared in front of an audience of activists that he will “never accept that we take the population hostage for negotiations”.

He suggested that sending letters to patients was a concerted initiative on the part of the Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec (FMOQ). “I told the deputies: “send me everything you receive from the different GMFs”. Copy and paste, all the letters are the same. […] I find it unfortunate that the union leadership does this. Not sure the doctors are comfortable with that,” he complained. “What I find deplorable is to say: from June 1, you no longer make appointments. That’s the slogan they gave [to the FMOQ],” he said.

The end of an agreement

A new standoff has begun between the minister and the doctors' union in recent weeks due to the end, on May 31, of the agreement on accessibility. This enabled the registration of 910,000 patients with groups of family doctors.

For each collective registration, family medicine groups (GMF) received $120. Such registration assigns a patient to a GMF, and not to a particular doctor. According to data revealed by Quebec in mid-April, half of the patients registered with a GMF have not obtained a medical appointment in the last two years. The Minister of Health said he had new data in hand on Saturday. He did not reveal them, any more than he said what proportion of registered patients had actually requested an appointment without obtaining one.

“Me, paying them what we agreed, that’s not the point. But did we get the services we should have ?,” he asked. “I say to the doctors: now that I have this data, can we sit down and negotiate properly ? I will not negotiate with a “gun< /i>” on the temple,” he warned.

In a letter sent on April 12, the minister wrote to the FMOQ that the agreement would “not be renewed in its current form.” “You will understand that above all, we must vigorously analyze the results of this agreement to determine whether the objectives sought have been achieved,” it reads.

Front journalists, Mr. Dubé assured that he had “never said” that he did not want to renew the agreement with the doctors. “After 18 months, it was planned that we would end the agreement, when there was no more money, that we would take stock and look: are there things to improve ? Do you really think that we are going to remove a service [which allowed] 900,000 Quebecers to know where to call ? To ask the question is to answer it,” he said.

A conciliator named

In another letter, the president of the Association of General Practitioners of Quebec, Caroline Delisle, wrote that it was “logical” to consider “a bridge” between the end of the agreement and the signing of an agreement- frame. “Thunderclap. Minister Dubé unilaterally declared the end of funding,” she laments. Dr. Delisle's fact was of a feeling of “abandonment” felt by doctors, in particular “in the face of orphan patients”.

On the social network liberal André Fortin also wrote that the minister should have “renewed the agreement […] time to negotiate.”

Mr. Dubé's teams said on Saturday that a conciliator had been appointed in this matter. The Prime Minister, François Legault, for his part said he expected difficult negotiations. “The next few weeks are going to be very hard, but we must not give up like other governments,” he said.

Family doctors absent from the board of directors of Santé Québec

The Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec believes that the board of directors (CA) of the Santé Québec agency should absolutely include a representative of family doctors among its members.

“Family doctors are at the heart of the Quebec health system. It is therefore essential that at least one family doctor be on the board of directors of the agency that you head,” wrote the doctors’ union in a letter sent Friday to the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé.

The Council of Ministers announced Wednesday the appointment of businesswoman Christiane Germain as head of Santé Québec. Of the 15 members of its board, none come from family medicine. “Surprise and disappointment,” noted the FMOQ on this subject. “We would therefore like to understand what guided you, at the start of your mandate, to support the idea that the board of directors of the Agence Santé Québec could do without the knowledge and expertise of family doctors,” writes the union to the minister. “Why, as you did with several of the people appointed, did you not solicit family doctors ? We hope that this first major decision since your appointment does not reflect your appreciation of the work of family doctors and the type relationship you want to build with them. »

In the press scrum on Saturday, Mr. Dubé said that “we cannot have everyone” on the board, and that it already has “five representatives from the first line”. “I work with those who want to work with us. I am very happy with the advice,” he added.

Marie-Michèle Sioui

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