Salaries of specialist doctors: The number of millionaire doctors in Québec explodes


 19 April 2018

The number of millionaire doctors has exploded in recent years in Quebec. According to data obtained by the CAQ, there were 107 physicians who billed the RAMQ for more than $ 1 million in 2012. This number jumped to 185 in 2016, representing a 73% increase. This is a situation that has outraged the spokesman of the CAQ in health and Lévis MP François Paradis.

In 2016, Québecers paid $ 230 million to 185 physicians, mostly medical specialists. The MNA for Lévis indicates that part of the problem lies in the fact that, despite the development of new technologies that increase the productivity of medical specialists, the rates paid by the RAMQ have not been revised accordingly.

Unfortunately, Minister Barrette did not appear at all to be moved by this situation and did not want to commit to reviewing the rates paid by the RAMQ.

Early childhood: A CAQ government will launch an offensive to detect learning disorders earlier


 22 January 2018

At the opening of the pre sessional caucus of his political party, the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, François Legault, announced that he has entrusted to Dr. Lionel Carmant, a neurologist and researcher who has worked with children at the Sainte-Justine hospital for many years, the mandate to prepare a strategy for early detection and intervention of neurodevelopmental problems in all children of Québec. Mr. Carmant will be assisted by Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) Geneviève Guilbault, François Paradis, and Jean-François Roberge, spokespersons for the CAQ, respectively, in family matters, health, and education, to accomplish this mandate.

A CAQ government will put in motion several measures to detect learning disorders as early as possible in young children, promised François Legault. Among these: Guaranteed access for all newborns and young children to a family doctor maximum three months after their birth.

According to Mr. Legault, it is paramount that children with learning disabilities are screened as early as possible, and that their parents have rapid access to specialised services, such as speech therapists, among others.

In march 2017, nearly 17 000 children aged 5 and under were on a waiting list, waiting to find a family doctor, regretted the CAQ leader. Family doctors are often the first filter in the screening and early detection of neurodevelopmental problems.

The CAQ strategy will rely heavily on interdisciplinarity, since the detection and treatment cannot be done uniquely by doctors. For the CAQ, they must be done in CLSCs, by making use of all health specialists and professionals, such as nurses, speech-language pathologists, or occupational therapists, for example.

McGill University Health Center : The CAQ and MUHC nurses’ denounce cuts to quality services


 29 June 2017

Since 2012, the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) has been imposed budget cuts of $120 million, which have had disastrous consequences for the quality of patient care, access to treatment units and heavy workload for the nurses of the hospital, firmly denounces the Coalition Avenir Québec.

CAQ members of National Assembly for Montarville and Repentigny, Nathalie Roy and Lise Lavallée, give their support to MUHC nurses’ and cardio-respiratory professionals, who launched a petition signed by nearly 14 000 people, demanding that the liberal government stops all budget cuts initiated by the previous PQ government and perpetuated by Premier Philippe Couillard. The CAQ promises to hand over the petition to Minister Barrette in September.

Nathalie Roy calls Gaétan Barrette to stop playing with nurses’ morale and to guarantee the necessary budgets at the MUHC so that Montreal patients have access to quality care. According to Ms. Roy, it is unacceptable that because of major budget cuts, medical beds will close for the summer, patients are crammed into hallways and units remain empty due to lack of funding. The CAQ critic for public health, Lise Lavallée, added that because of the insufficient number of professionals at the hospital, some patients don’t have access to services within the promised deadlines, particularly those that require long-term care.

Operating Rooms Are At Semi Capacity, Reveals the CAQ


 6 June 2016

While 20,000 Quebecers are stressed and anxious from waiting for their surgery for over six months, the operating rooms in Quebec’s hospitals are working at only half of their capacity, reveal the figures gathered by the CAQ. It was the party’s health critic, François Paradis, who uncovered this outrageous situation. He held a press conference in front of the Saint Jerome Hospital, where 2,240 patients are currently waiting for a surgery; 200 of them for over six months.

Nonetheless, the average usage rate of the operation facilities is of hardly 53% in Quebec; it shifts between 29% and 65% according to the region, regrets Paradis. He notes another undeniable fact: None of the regions are attaining their targeted 75%, set by the Health and Welfare Commissioner.

“The situation has been escalating for years, due to the underuse of the operation rooms in Quebec’s hospitals. They have been operating at mid-capacity due to a striking lack in human resource and equipment. Meanwhile, as the waiting lists are exploding, the number of surgeries performed in Quebec have decreased by 11,500, since 2012. This is the Liberal track record! The figures uncovered by the CAQ should serve as a wakeup call to Minister Gaétan Barrette, who needs to endow hospitals with the ability to provide their patients with the services that they rightfully deserve”, claimed François Paradis.

The member for Lévis told the Minister that there is no excuse to remain passive. He recalled that in January 2012, in a review by the Quebec Federation of Medical Specialists (FMSQ), Barrette strongly denounced access limitations to operation rooms, for doctors and their patients. “Mr. Barrette is a victim of his past statements. Why isn’t he taking charge, now that he is at the head of the healthcare system? He has the power to act, and he must set himself specific goals and objectives, in order to reduce the number of patients on the waiting lists by 2017; when his agreement with the FMSQ is due to expire”, exclaimed François Paradis.

The Laurentians and Saint Jerome Are Not Forgotten

In the Laurentians, where Monday’s press conference took place, the picture’s far from perfect. The operation room’s 53% usage rate mirrors the rest of Quebec. “Here, in Saint Jerome, 2,240 men and women, many of which are experiencing tremendous anxiety, have been waiting for weeks and months to get operated. Today, they are learning that their wait has been in vain, as the operation rooms are vacant half of the time. Reducing the waiting lists is simple: Doctors need to have access to the operating facilities which aren’t used to their full potential. Why is the Minister reluctant to help the people of Saint Jerome?” asked the CAQ member.

In his press conference, Mr. Paradis was alongside the member for Mirabel, Sylvie D’Amours; the member for Deux-montagnes, Benoit Charrette; the member for Groulx, claude Surprenant; and the member for Blainville, Mario Laframboise. All four are caucus members of the CAQ for the Laurentian region.

Regional Data:

Abitibi-Témiscamingue: 29 %
Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine: 31 %
Côte-Nord: 32 %
Bas-Saint-Laurent: 40 %
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean: 42 %
Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec: 51 %
Estrie: 52 %
Chaudière-Appalaches: 54 %
Lanaudière: 54 %
Laurentians: 54 %
Montérégie: 55 %
Outaouais: 57 %
Montreal: 57 %
Laval: 64 %
National Capital: 65 %

ER: Quebec Holds the Poorest Record in the Western World


 2 June 2016

Quebec displays the worst performance in the western world, for waiting time in emergency rooms.

This unfortunate observation was revealed by the Health and Welfare Commissioner, Robert Salois, before he was relieved of his duties by the Health Minister, Gaétan barrette.

According to his report, more than 45% of the visits to the ER in 2015-2016 have exceeded the maximum delay standards that were set by the health ministry.

The average length of all visits to the ER, ambulatory and on- stretcher, is of approximately nine hours. It is over twice longer than the international standard, says Robert Salois to La Presse.

Couillard Is Unaware of Wage Gap for Quebec and Ontario Doctors


 1 June 2016

Philippe Couillard was unable to quantify the current wage disparity between Quebec’s and Ontario’s doctors, nor for the two provinces collective salaried workers, regretted the CAQ Leader, François Legault.

The CAQ Leader recalls that when he was at the head of the Health ministry, he accepted to reduce the gap over several years, from 40% to 15%. Out of parity, he wanted the wage gap between doctors from Quebec and Ontario, to be equivalent to that of other sectors (assessed to be 15% at the time). However, it seems that the Liberal government has gone too far, with excessive increases to doctor remuneration, highlights Mr. Legault.

“Over the last 8 years, the Liberal government increased doctor remuneration by 72% for general practitioners, and 102% for specialists. This increase costed 3 billion dollars. It is completely unfair for the Quebec-Ontario doctor wage gap, to be lesser than that for other sectors. Meanwhile, RLTCC patients are fighting to get a second bath per week in Quebec. We need to find out the true salary gap between doctors in Quebec and in Ontario”, insisted François Legault, falling on the PM’s deaf ears.

The member for L’Assomption understands that daily matters are trivial to Philippe Couillard, but Quebecers should not have to pay for his negligence. “I cannot believe that the Prime Minister is unaware of this! 3 billion dollars is not catching up, but messing up. What is the Quebec-Ontario doctor salary gap today?” stressed François Legault, while encouraging the Prime Minister to take advantage of the current doctor salary negotiations, for a review of the doctor remuneration method.

MRIs and CTs: Waiting Lists Are Exploding in Many Regions


 20 May 2016

The CAQ critic for health, François Paradis, revealed new and disturbing data regarding the waiting lists for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination and computed tomography (CT scan). The CAQ member uncovered the latter in an interpellation to the Liberal Health Minister, Gaétan Barrette, at the National Assembly on Friday.

The figures that were gathered by the CAQ, show that despite the promises made by Mr. Barrette, the waiting lists have been growing in 12 regions for MRIs, and in 7 regions for the CT scans. In total, nearly 70,000 patients are presently waiting for an MRI exam, be it an increase of 25,000 Quebecers since March 2012 (+55%), while the waiting lists for CT scans are stagnating at 32,000 patients (+2% for the same time period).

“For MRIs, the waiting lists are exploding in many regions. In the Capital alone, the delays have increased by nearly 522%! For the CTs, 7 regions in Quebec have experienced an increase since March 2012, and Estrie has the most detrimental situation, at 1,218%! It is a notice of failure for the Minister, as thousands of patients have been waiting for well over three months throughout Quebec; missing by far every target that Gaétan Barrette has set for himself. Under the Liberal monopoly, the access to care is inequitable; it varies according to the region of residence”, regrets François Paradis. He highlights how crucial these tests are, since they help detect cancers and various anomalies in patients.

Yet Another Broken Promise

The member for Lévis recalls that during the last election campaign, Gaétan Barrette committed to refund entirely all charges for ultrasounds, MRIs, and CTs; to patients who choose to attend private clinics, effective immediately upon his coming into office. Two years later, this promise is visibly a broken one. “In light of the figures revealed by the CAQ, the Minister is forced to take action. It is simple, he is asked to stand by his words!  Today, the Health Minister is doing absolutely nothing to moderate the waiting lists, thus leaving thousands of Quebecers in uncertainty. Mr. Barrette, you are failing to deliver the goods”, concluded François Paradis.

A Summary of the Hard Facts:

MRIs, since March 2012 :
– An increase of 24,900 patients: + 55 %
– Longer waiting lists in 12 out of 15 administrative regions:
o National Capital: + 692 %
o Montérégie: + 391 %
o Estrie: + 172 %
o Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean: + 161 %
o Bas-Saint-Laurent: + 72 %

CT scans, since March 2012 :
– An increase of 850 patients: + 2 %
– Longer waiting lists in 7 out of 15 administrative regions:
o Estrie: + 1,218 %
o Montérégie: + 329 %
o Abitibi-Témiscamingue: + 233 %
o Outaouais: + 177 %
o National Capital: + 152 %
o Lanaudière: + 52 %
o Bas-Saint-Laurent: + 51 %

“Parents Until the End” : Minister Barrette Denies the CAQ’s Motion


 12 May 2016

There are no guarantees that the Minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette, will keep his word and help families with children who have a severe disability. At the National Assembly, the Liberals did not support François Paradis’ motion; aiming only to reaffirm Barrette’s solemn commitment, made on the program Everyone Is Talking about It (Tout le monde en parle).

He committed to take action, in the next two months, to address the legitimate claims of the group “Parents Until the End” (Parents jusqu’au bout). Yet, the deadline for this is May 15, be it this Sunday, highlighted the CAQ critic for health.

“Gaétan Barrette promised, hand on heart, that he will provide fast access to a permanent financial aid, to all families with children who have severe and visible disabilities. The statements made on television by the Minister, were remedial to the struggling parents. The clock is ticking, and the government has until Sunday to deliver. These parents have a great deal of worries; the last thing they need is a broken promise. The minister’s lack of clarity is inappropriate and unhealthy. I am calling upon his better judgement, and asking him to reassure our parents immediately”, stated François Paradis.

The CAQ’s motion reads as follows:

“For the National Assembly to remind the Minister of Health and Social Services his solemn commitment, made on the program “Everyone Is Talking About It”, to address the legitimate concerns of the association “Parents Until the End”;

To remind him that he promised to follow up on these matters within two months, and that the deadline is on May 15, 2016;

That the government must grant fast and permanent access to financial aid by the province, to all families providing care to a child suffering from a severe disability.”

AG Report on Incidental Expenses: The CAQ Wants Billing to Stop


 10 May 2016

After the Ombudsperson and several senior officials of Quebec’s health sector, the Auditor General was next in line to criticise the Health Minister, Gaétan Barrette, for his poor management in matters of incidental expenses. During the Question Period, the CAQ critic for health, François Paradis, urged the Minister to stop invoicing patients the incidental expenses for insured medical services.

The CAQ member considers it outrageous for patients to pay incidental fees, considering that doctor remuneration can easily absorb these costs.

“In the report presented today, the Auditor General of Quebec states that the ministry is oblivious as to how doctors ended up charging for incidental expenses. We are sailing blind. The Liberal government wants to serve a 50 million dollar invoice to the patients, and has given itself the right to do so, by amending bill 20. It also states that doctors may bill patients for incidental expenses with reasonable profit. The Minister must quit playing games and commit, formally, to deny paying 50 million dollars more in incidental fees”, indicated François Paradis.

The member for Lévis informed that only last week, Minister Barrette said that he no intention “at the moment” to compensate doctors for these expenses. He is therefore leaving his options open, concluded Mr. Paradis.

“We now have two devastating reports. The Auditor General is uncertain about the future. The Ombudsperson says she believes this needs to stop immediately. What exactly is the Health Minister waiting for?” inquired François Paradis.

Ultrasound Waiting List: The CAQ Reveals a Devastating Record


 6 May 2016

According to the figures obtained by the CAQ, over 112,000 Quebecers have been waiting for ultrasound scans for more than three months.

Recall that the Minister’s aim was for everyone to be able to receive their scan within three months.

To illustrate some examples, 72% of patients in Estrie have been waiting for longer than 3 months for their cardiac ultrasounds, and 69% of patients in the Laurentians. For mammary scans, there was a waiting period of over three months for 71% of patients in the Outaouais region, 63% in the Laurentians, and 62% in Montérégie.

MNA François Paradis calls it a devastating record.

“Over 60% of patients failed to receive the service within the timeframe set by the government. The rate of people who waited for less than three months for mammary ultrasounds is as low as 29% in some regions”, he stated in an interview for TVA.