The Quebec government is expected to announce this morning its plans to overhaul the health care and social services system over the next three years.
The plan includes eliminating mandatory overtime for nurses, in part by recruiting 1,000 new nurses from abroad, and changing the way family doctors are paid, from a per-act to a per-patient basis, in an effort to get those doctors to take on more patients.
Health Minister Christian Dubé, Marguerite Blais, the minister responsible for seniors, and Lionel Carmant, Quebec’s junior health minister, will roll out details of that plan at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The broad strokes of the plan are contained in a 90-page document leaked to Radio-Canada last week.
The document, entitled “More Human, More Efficient,” includes 50 proposed measures, many of them aimed at creating a “more attractive work environment” for health-care professionals, particularly for nurses.
“We must no longer tolerate absences or unfilled positions being systematically covered by staff through overtime,” the document reads.
“It is clear that a sustained effort to recruit and retain personnel will be necessary over the next few years in order to improve access to services.”
The document also proposes hiring 3,000 new clerks by the end of the year, to take on some of the bureaucratic tasks that now fall to clinical staff. This would would give doctors and nurses more time to dedicate to patient care, the document states.
Alternatives to family doctors
There are some 945,000 Quebecers who are still on the waiting list for a family doctor, according to the document. The plan calls for stepping up alternatives for front-line care, including giving nurse practitioners, paramedics and pharmacists more power to treat patients.
Other measures include changing how emergency rooms are run, with the goal of reducing wait times.
The news conference will be livestreamed on Premier François Legault’s Facebook page