MONTREAL, Feb. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - The Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec (FMRQ) today launched an awareness campaign aimed at informing the public of the issues at stake in the negotiations for renewal of its collective agreement with the government. The Internet and social media will be central to the campaign. "The goal of the new Web site," stated FMRQ president, Dr Charles Dussault, "is to inform, but also to seek public support in the young generation of doctors' quest for working conditions that recognize their contribution to the health care system."

What do the young generation of doctors want?
The name of the Web site is a play on words, "relève en santé" evoking young doctors practising in the health care system, but also enjoying good health themselves. As the Federation president emphasized: "Medical residents want to ensure both their own physical, mental and financial health and their patients' health and safety. And it is through a reorganization of our work schedules as well as fair compensation for the services that medical residents deliver to the population in all regions of Quebec," he continued, "that we will be able to achieve these goals." The Federation last met with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) on October 13, 2010, and is still waiting for an offer in response to the demands it tabled on May 4 last year. While a meeting is scheduled for March 9, 2011, there are as yet no signs that the upcoming generation of doctors' demands will be considered favourably by the government.

Reducing call duty from 24 to 16 hours: Just a question of rearranging schedules
"The Federation's demands are aimed at ensuring that there is an upcoming generation of physicians in good health in Quebec," stated the FMRQ president. "It is urgent that call duty in hospitals involving 24 hours in a row without sleep become a thing of the past." He stressed that a growing volume of scientific studies point to the dangers associated with 24 straight hours of call duty in an establishment. There is a global trend toward reducing the number of consecutive hours of call duty to 16 hours. Indeed, some initiatives in that regard have already been introduced in Quebec. "Medical residents will not be working fewer hours," Dr Dussault pointed out reassuringly. "They will continue to deliver care to the population for the same number of hours as before. They'll just be doing it differently."

Compensation recognizing the young generation of doctors' competencies and contribution
On the pay front, Dr Dussault stated that young health professionals want their compensation packages to be brought up to date. "Medical residents seek a return to the relative pay levels they were at in the early 2000s, when their compensation was equivalent to the Canadian average," the FMRQ president went on. "Today, Quebec's 3,000 medical residents rank last in Canada, earning close to 26% less than the average of their colleagues from other provinces."

Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec
The Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec brings together the four medical resident associations of the medical faculties of the University of Montreal, McGill University, the University of Sherbrooke and Laval University in Quebec City. It has some 3,000 members, of whom 38% are men and 62% women. A quarter of the Federation's membership are headed for family medicine practice, while the remainder are pursuing training in one of the 53 other specialties recognized in Quebec. The duration of postgraduate education in family medicine is two years, while specialist physicians' training ranges from five to six years, depending on the chosen specialty.


For further information:

Source:  Dr Charles Dussault, President
Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec

Johanne Carrier
Communications Advisor
Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec
Information and     
Lise Raymond

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