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Uniting all network stakeholders to address priority actions together

Just as I can’t operate on a patient without assistance, no one government will ever be able to improve the healthcare system without support from the various network stakeholders.

On June 19, the Québec Medical Association (QMA) and three other associations representing patients, network stakeholders and managers asked the political parties to commit to including a series of concrete actions in their electoral platforms.

The Alliance des patients pour la santé (APS), the Association des cadres supérieurs de la santé et des services sociaux (ACSSSS), the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), and the QMA put forth 15 priority actions on which they all agree and which are intended to ensure the sustainability of the health and social services system.

I am standing with the QMA on this initiative because, like our association, I firmly believe that nothing will get done unless we work together to improve the system and change our practices.

We have to understand that the time for this “every man for himself” mentality is over. Whether we like it or not, this attitude only leaves other people exposed. However, we can’t keep asking for more and trying to do more. With the Group’s 15 solutions, for the first time parties with differing interests have shown that it’s possible to work together and agree on what needs to be done. This cultural shift needs to continue.

Breaking the cycle in order to move forward

For 30 years, government after government has tried to reform the system. We know what the solutions are. We need a strong, accessible front line, we need to address the social determinants of health, and we need to make sure patients are treated at the right time, in the right place, by the right professional. 

That being said, things won’t change unless we can break out of this system where we’re constantly working in silos. A system where everyone does their job well, but no one oversees care episodes, resulting in repeated and redundant examinations and tests, not to mention delays. A system that channels patients and doctors to emergency rooms, because, despite the long wait, it’s the only place they’ll have access to all the services and medical technologies they need.

We’ve already convinced our partners that we’re sincere and that doctors can provide solutions. Next, we want to work with all doctors, the other network stakeholders, and the next government to implement these solutions.

Just as we’ve learned to work together in teams—because that’s the only way to address population health—we also need to learn how to fix the problems in the healthcare system by consulting and collaborating with others.

If we managed to agree on the priority actions and present a united front, then we should have no trouble effecting change together.

Dr. Hugo Viens, B.Sc., M.D., FRCSC 
President, Québec Medical Association


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