QMA proposes solutions to Health Minister, to avoid charging for incidental costs
MONTREAL, July 2, 2015 - The Québec Medical Association (QMA), which recognizes that charging patients for incidental costs could lead to two-tier medicine, suggests that the Minister tackle the problem of unnecessary medical procedures, combat overdiagnosis and overtreatment, and review the basket of services to ensure elimination of medically unnecessary procedures. This would free up $3- to $5 billion, which would more than cover the MSSS's (ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux) $50-million shortfall in the area of incidental costs.
The QMA also seeks to prevent the federal government from using the Canada Health Act to cut health transfer payments. The Act stipulates that all medically necessary procedures must be covered by the public health plan.
"We recognize that financial resources are not unlimited," asserted Dr. Yun Jen, President of the QMA, "and that is why the Québec Medical Association proposes a search for solutions to problems in how the healthcare system is performing, rather than injecting new monies into it or making patients foot the bill." Examples she cited are annual check-ups, medical imaging for lower back pain and prescribing antibiotics for flu symptoms. "All of these costs, taken together, total much more than the $50-million shortfall. So Quebec is in a position to avoid charging patients for incidental costs."
About the QMA
The Québec Medical Association comprises nearly 10,000 general practitioners, specialists, residents and medical students. Its mission is to bring together members of Quebec's medical community in a context that promotes reflection and action in order to improve the health of Quebec's population.