MONTREAL, Feb. 6, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The decision by Réjean Hébert,
Quebec's Minister of Health and Social Services, to withdraw from the
provincial-territorial working group on health innovation leaves the
medical profession perplexed.
This working group brings together representatives of health
professionals and the provincial and territorial governments. It is an
excellent example of cooperation. However, Minister Hébert prefers to
shut the door.
This working group has shown that the interactions among provinces can
give rise to best practices for patients and also contribute to
substantial savings for the health care system, while respecting
entirely the provincial jurisdictions. For example, the group reached
an agreement with generic drug companies for reducing costs - an
estimated savings of $100 million per year.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Quebec Medical
Association (QMA), which represent nearly 80,000 members of the medical
profession, are working closely with various stakeholders on projects
involving the responsible, effective use of our health care system's
funds and resources in order to improve the quality of services for
At a time when all western governments are looking for ways to curb the
increasing costs in their health care system, it is most surprising
that Quebec should be standing alone by refusing to assess and consider
the best practices from elsewhere.
The question is: how can the empty-chair strategy be beneficial for
The QMA, which has 10,000 members in Quebec, has made numerous requests
for a meeting with the Minister to discuss potential solutions for
improving health care to the population. Those requests have remained
unanswered. First the empty chair, now radio silence! How is this
approach beneficial for Quebec patients?
Rather than making sweeping cuts in operating rooms and in research,
Minister Hébert would be better advised to take a patient-focused
approach and to work with the medical profession to find lasting
solutions to the problems in our health care system.
The Minister may opt to withdraw from the working group on health
innovation, but health professional representatives will still continue
to be involved; it is in their patients' interest.
Dr Anna Reid
Canadien Medical Association
Dr Ruth Vander Stelt
Quebec Medical Association
SOURCE: QUEBEC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
For further information:
Coordonnatrice aux affaires professionnelles
Association médicale du Québec
Téléphone : 514-866-0660
Courriel : firstname.lastname@example.org