Four fundamental actions to restore the healthcare system and 100 days to implement them. Will the new government be up to the task?

Claire Montour[1] deplores the current state of the healthcare system and the government’s failure to take action to remedy the situation.

“Being required to constantly adjust to multiple work environments and master numerous areas of expertise creates psychological stress that leads to burnout for many people. It comes as no surprise that people are no longer interested in the current full-time positions, which are unstable and inhumane. In fact, many exhausted and discouraged workers have lost hope of seeing any improvement in their situation. Things have got to change!”

A matter of stability

The CSQ and the FSQ-CSQ believe that the new government must respect healthcare personnel and win back their trust. It must give guarantees for decent working conditions and create attractive full-time positions that will help stabilize care teams.

“This is the only way to break the vicious cycle of organizational problems, institute a sustainable solution for workforce shortages and ensure the delivery of safe, quality healthcare,” adds Sonia Ethier[2].

A matter of safety

Staff shortages, unstable care teams and widespread burnout among staff undeniably affect the quality and safety of healthcare, as evidenced by the alarming rise of incidents and accidents in the network, and the increase in complaints and reports.

“In some regions, the increase in accidents occurring during delivery of healthcare was close to 17% over the past year,” the CSQ president explained.

Strict job requirements

In addition, the numerous job requirements and proliferation of clinical assessment and monitoring tools add to the complexity of tasks. For example, in the field of mental health, there are about a dozen clinical guides[3] to support the development of the therapeutic nursing plan (TNP).

In a hospital's medical department, over forty clinical forms can exist. Many interventions are subject to nursing directives and medical protocols.

“Transferring personnel from one activity sector to another when job requirements are increasingly specific and demanding can result in errors and jeopardize the quality of care. This makes absolutely no sense!” exclaimed Claire Montour.

Four actions and 100 days to implement them

On September 13, 2018, in the midst of the election campaign, Sonia Ethier and Claire Montour publicly questioned the leaders of the four political parties during their first debate. On behalf of healthcare workers, they demanded that the leaders commit to implementing four fundamental and urgent actions within 100 days of the election to put the healthcare system back on track:

  1. Immediately enhance and stabilize the funding of healthcare institutions to allow them to post attractive full-time positions and remedy the shortage problems that plague our healthcare system.
  2. Decentralize the management of human resources, restore the ability of workplaces to manage staff scheduling based on the specific needs and the reality of each workplace, and stop scheduling management based on the systematic use of overtime.
  3. Issue a ministerial directive prohibiting unfair requirements for flexibility and mobility.
  4. Pass framework legislation to promote and support family-work-education balance.

Taking healthcare out of the great darkness

Sixty years ago, Premier Paul Sauvé, the successor of Maurice Duplessis, launched Québec’s exit from the Great Darkness within 100 days. Thanks to a few concrete measures quickly passed in the Assembly, he threw the doors wide open to Jean Lesage and his team, and to the Quiet Revolution.

Will the new government have the courage to emulate this transformative event?  To explore the dossier:

[1] Claire Montour is president of the Fédération de la Santé du Québec (FSQ-CSQ).
[2] Sonia Ethier is president of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec.
[3] Psychological and behavioural symptoms of dementia (SPCD), Maladaptive behaviours, Substance abuse, Delirium, Cognitive impairments, Attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity ADD or ADHD), Mood disorders: depressive episode, Mood disorders: manic episode, Psychotic disorders, Risk of violence, Risk of suicide, Follow-up in connection with medication.