Solving Health Care Crisis from Nurses' Point of View

Quebec City, September 6, 2023

On Monday, August 21, Premier François Legault and the President of the Treasury Board Sonia Lebel met with Julie Bouchard, President of the Interprofessional Health Federation of Quebec (FIQ), in the context of contract negotiations for health care workers. Bouchard said of the meeting:

"Nothing was agreed during the meeting, but I made a point of expressing to Mr. Legault and Ms. LeBel that our members' expectations are immense, and will have to be met. The 80,000 care professionals we represent are impatient, and all means of pressure are currently being considered. Time is running out, and we need structuring measures, such as a law on safe ratios and the end of [mandatory overtime], to ensure the stability of care teams and improve the safety of care offered to the population.

"I've also made sure to make it clear to the Premier that [the workers] are the leading experts in the field, and that we know what solutions need to be put in place to turn around the public network. What we need is to be listened to and for the solutions we propose to be implemented. We're facing many challenges, not least the structural reform of the health care network [such as Bill 15, which contains 1,200 articles, 308 pages and amends 37 existing laws -- WF Ed. Note] and the government's strong tendency to focus on privatization, and these major issues will have an impact both on our working conditions and on access to universal, free care for the people of Quebec."

This principled stand demonstrates the courage and determination of Quebec nurses to win working conditions that enable them to deliver the highest levels of health care to the people of Quebec. All the more so since that very morning, Christian Dubé, Minister of Health, said in a Radio-Canada interview about opposition to the adoption of Bill 15: "I'd certainly prefer not to need a gag order, but if that's what it takes at some point, we'll do it, but we're not there at all right now." 

The people of Quebec want to resolve this contradiction between the expertise of health care personnel and the control of decisions exercised in this sector by narrow private interests in favour of the people, not the narrow private interests.

(Photo: FIQ)

This article was published in
Number 52 - September 22, 2023

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