Private Mini-Hospitals: Between Enthusiasm and Concerns in Healthcare
Report by Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc on the reactions to the electoral promise of the CAQ to build “private mini-hospitals” in Quebec.
The election promise of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) to build “private mini-hospitals” in Quebec caused a huge reaction in the health sector. Even if few details seem to have filtered through on the two projects in eastern Montreal and Quebec, doctors generally welcome the idea under certain conditions. The unions are wondering where the private sector will get the employees.
On the fifth floor of the Opéra MD private clinic in the Lebourgneuf district of Quebec, Dr. Daniel Lapointe's teams are driving at full speed. With his resources, the owner says he is able to operate on 30% more patients than the public.
I think inevitably the health care system is moving towards a mix between the private and the public, launches Daniel Lapointe.
About 80% of the operations performed in his clinic are dedicated to patients who do not have to pay a penny out of pocket. People are being diverted to Opera MD, instead of going to overcrowded public hospitals with endless waiting lists for surgery.
Dr. Lapointe makes no secret of it not, the promise of the CAQ to involve the private sector more in the health system enchants him. He even considers participating in the construction of the future private mini-hospital of Quebec.
“We're going to be interested in getting involved in a project like this. »
— Dr Daniel Lapointe, anesthesiologist and owner Opéra MD
The owner of Opéra MD Daniel Lapointe wishes to participate in the establishment of the “mini-hospital” in the Quebec region.
I don't think we're going to run out of people. It is sure that these will be very expensive projects which will require significant investments, explains the doctor.
According to the CAQ, a call for projects must be launched with the private partners. Mini-hospitals are expected to open in 2025.
- Facilities will have:
- A Family Medicine Group open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Emergency open 24/7 to treat minor cases
- Operating room for surgical 'one day
- The services will be free and reimbursed by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)
The president of the Interprofessional Syndicate from the CHU de Québec, Nancy Hogan, is not seduced by the idea of the CAQ. Far from it.
Promises are not always kept, we will see, she breathes. Despite the fact that it's private… We know that our Prime Minister likes it private!
Nancy Hogan wonders how and where the future employers of these new private hospitals will recruit staff. She even fears that health professionals will leave the public sector for the private sector if the hours are better.
It is not by building a hospital that we are going to say that, even if it is private, that we will be able to provide more services to the population if we do not have crowded, explains Nancy Hogan.
Union leader Nancy Hogan deplores the CAQ's idea of building “mini-hospitals”, including one in Quebec. She wonders how private employers will be able to recruit staff in the midst of a shortage. She fears departures from the public sector if the conditions in the private sector are better.
The union leader points out that in the five hospitals of the CHU de Québec, there are still a lot of people. overtime these days due to lack of staff. Nancy Hogan points out that some shifts in Quebec emergency rooms are not even covered.
The family doctors of the Capitale-Nationale consulted by Radio-Canada are in favor of better access for patients.
The president of the Association of General Practitioners of Quebec, Dr Pascal Renaud, affirms that any measure that will increase access to patients who do not currently have a doctor, we will be in favor of that, that's for sure.
Dr. Yves Bolduc believes that the government should focus on creating more Family Medicine Groups (FMGs) instead of creating minor care emergencies in the private “mini-hospitals”.
Dr. Yves Bolduc, who is a family doctor and former Liberal Minister of Health, says he fundamentally agrees to have various services in association with the government. Except that he is not convinced of the parameters proposed by the CAQ for his mini-hospitals.
When it comes to an emergency 24 hours a day [in mini-hospitals], we have already closed emergencies in Quebec, among others in Quebec and Montreal, launches Dr. Bolduc. Why not reopen these emergencies?
The former Minister of Health rather believes that the government should bet on an increase in family medicine groups (FMG) throughout the province in bringing together family physicians. According to him, this is the best way to provide better first-line care to relieve emergency room congestion in hospitals.
If the government wants to have more services, it should open no more family medicine groups from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week, explains Dr. Bolduc.