MONTRÉAL, Feb. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Indispensable professionals and technicians at the CSSS Cavendish who are unionized with the APTS demonstrated today at noon in front of the CLSC Benny Farm to denounce the impact on the population of the restructuring of our health and social services system and cutbacks in services. The demonstration was part of the APTS campaign "They're wrecking our services – not on our watch!". As we all know, the CSSS Cavendish will be amalgamated with the CSSS de la Montagne on April 1.
Minister Barrette's Act to modify the organization and governance of the health and social services network (Bill 10) is arousing the ire of APTS members. "This ultra-centralizing and anti-democratic bill will do the opposite of bringing Montrealers closer to their services," explained Patrick Durivage, local president of the local APTS executive. "Not only that, this forced merger paves the way for privatizing and contracting-out services for the population."
Restructuring and cutbacks won't generate any real savings, either. "For one thing, mega-structures invariably create more bureaucracy," added Patrick Durivage. "For another, the services eliminated now are actually deferred costs. The government is taking primary care services, prevention services, home care services and mental health follow-up services away from the population, despite the consensus among experts in health-care systems and clinicians that investing in these very services will save costs in the end. An individual who doesn't receive these services in a reasonable period of time will inevitably end up coming to emergency, which is far more costly."
In the view of APTS members working at the CSSS Cavendish, this sweeping reorganization fails to address the real problems in the health-care system. "Wait lists are over the top and services continue to decline for those who are the most vulnerable. Instead of playing around with the structures, the minister should tackle these problems," quipped the president of the local union executive. "In the SAPA program alone (which helps seniors continue to live independently), there are 300 people waiting to receive services. Since last September, home care services are no longer being offered to new applicants. As a result, people who can afford to do so are turning to the private sector. In mental health services, the wait time is up to a year. That's totally unacceptable."
APTS members at the CSSS Cavendish are worried that when Bill 10 comes into force, budgets will be cut even further. "Will CLCSs' essential missions be better protected by integrating them in even bigger structures?", Patrick Durivage asks. "We don't think so. Bill 10 will remove citizens even further from the centres of decision-making. What's more, the bill was voted after the government invoked closure, with the utmost contempt for democratic debate."
APTS members are committed to offering a range of high-quality services that are accessible to everyone. "As always, it's the population that pays the price. We're not going to stand by while the government wrecks our services. Not on our watch!", pledged the president of the local APTS executive.
The APTS is a union that represents 32,000 indispensable professionals and technicians in health and social services. They include medical technologists, recreation technicians, medical records archivists, kinesiologists, medical imaging technologists, medical electro-physiotherapy technologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, psycho-educators, physical rehabilitation therapists, community organizers, social workers, psychologists, dietetics technicians, dietitian-nutritionists, spiritual care workers and dental hygienists.
SOURCE Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS)
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