2018 Québec election
In the lead-up to the election, the QMA is keeping a close eye on the promises made by the political parties in the area of health and social services. Here is the overview of the first two platforms made public.
Overview of health commitments by the Coalition Avenir Québec
In May, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) unveiled its health platform, which contains nearly thirty measures grouped under four major orientations: access to healthcare, physician remuneration, network governance, and prevention. Of course, many of these ideas directly affect the medical community. Here are a few:
The CAQ wants to retake control of physician remuneration, in particular by rethinking the ways in which family doctors are compensated and by renegotiating the agreement signed this year between specialists and the Québec government. The negotiations would be based on the conclusions of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), with consideration given to cost of living and the income gap between Québec and the rest of Canada.
These measures also include a review of the fees for certain medical acts, the elimination of “hidden bonuses,” and the tightening of incorporation rules, which would prohibit income splitting with family members and ban doctors who work full time at public institutions from becoming incorporated.
Overdiagnosis and overmedication are two different, but closely related, concepts, which the CAQ plans to tackle should it form the next government. According to the party, the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) should be tasked with educating doctors about medication overuse and with implementing measures to reduce overmedication and overdiagnosis.
Organization of front-line services
One of the CAQ’s measures that has attracted the most media attention is the pledge that patients in the emergency department (ED) will see a doctor within an average of 90 minutes. To follow through on this promise, the CAQ plans to reorganize work in EDs by creating a new service corridor through which healthcare professionals would refer patients to outpatient clinics or CLSCs after triaging them in the ED. Still from the perspective of improving access to care, the CAQ would also aim to have 75% of doctors offering adapted access within two years.
For more information about the Coalition Avenir Québec’s health platform, visit www.coalitionavenirquebec.org.