General practitioners have reservations about the Dubé plan for emergencies

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General practitioners have reservations about the Dubé plan for emergencies

Minister Dubé announced the creation of two new specialized nurse practitioner clinics. These professionals can perform tasks previously reserved for doctors.

The Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec fears the influx of new patients to family medicine groups and the departure of nurses to new clinics following the announcement of Minister Christian Dubé's plan to relieve emergency room congestion.

One ​​in two people who go to the emergency room could have gone elsewhere, said the Minister of Health on Tuesday during a press briefing where he revealed three measures to unclog emergency rooms in Quebec, where more than 10,000 patients come every day.

According to Dr. Élyse Berger-Pelletier, who has just joined the crisis unit on emergencies, measures related to access counters, the 811 line and specialized nurse practitioner clinics are mainly for ambulatory clients who come to the emergency room, who are not sure where to go in the network, who do not necessarily have a family doctor.

According to the emergency physician at the Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis, it will help us, the emergency doctors, to declutter the waiting rooms.

Dr. Élyse Berger-Pelletier, emergency physician at Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis

The president of the Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec (FMOQ), Dr. Marc-André Amyot, welcomes Minister Dubé's will, but has some reservations related in particular to the intention to direct thousands of additional patients from emergencies to groups of family medicine (GMF).

There, what is being asked of family doctors is overcapacity, when family doctors are already working very hard to offer orphan beaches, says Dr. Amyot.

Dr. Marc-André Amyot, President of the Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec

As the FMOQ reminds us, there is already a shortage of 1,000 family doctors in Quebec, while approximately 2,500 emergency doctors are also family doctors.

The president of the FMOQ also made some suggestions regarding the deployment of specialized nurse practitioners (SNPs).

In his opinion, if the hours that SNPs work in the private sector, they are recuperated to work in the public, that, I think is a plus, if we add to the hours they are currently working.

“You should not come looking for nurses in FMGs to open IPS clinics, because there, we undress the FMGs to dress the IPS clinics. »

— Dr. Marc-André Amyot, President of the Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec

The overflow of emergencies, it is not new. For more than 50 years, politicians and health ministers have searched for cures. Report by Anne-Louise Despatie.

One of the two new IPS clinics announced by Minister Dubé is to be established in the east of Montreal, an area where the recruitment of health professionals is already a challenge.

The opening of IPS clinics is a matter of weeks, said Minister Dubé.

The president of the Order of Nurses of Quebec (OIIQ), Luc Mathieu, recalls that in many cases, the IPS can completely take charge of the person and simply refer to the doctor during an acute episode.

Luc Mathieu, President of the Order of Nurses of Quebec

The latter gives the example of a person who has just been diagnosed with diabetes by a doctor.

For follow-up, adjustment medication and all other chronic illnesses, in many cases, SNPs can take care of patients themselves and, when it goes beyond their area of ​​expertise, they can refer to a doctor, a pharmacist, a social worker or another member of the team, he cries.

There are currently around 1100 IPS in Quebec. The Liberal government of Philippe Couillard had launched in 2017 a program to train 2000 by 2025.

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