The Government Has Just Made Substantial Changes to the Québec Health Care System

Montréal, October 7, 2015, letter to the editor released to the media by the QMA – Québec’s health care system is experiencing dark days. The Health Minister’s amendment on incidental charges has just been unilaterally adopted without any public consultation. Written at the table while the Committee on Health was in session, this last-minute addition to the amendment to a bill that is unrelated to incidental charges and which has already been brought before a parliamentary commission, is anti-democratic. Medical organizations, as well as citizen and patient groups, had already voiced their opinions on the bill well before this addition. Adoption of this amendment fundamentally transforms Québec’s health care system. Québec’s population will now have to deal with two-tier medicine, with faster access for those who have the means to pay for services in a clinic, and slower access for the others in a hospital. The government has just unilaterally rejected the principles to which Quebecers have been entitled since the introduction of the universal health care system 50 years ago.

Dr. Yun Jen FRCPC
Québec Medical Association