The Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec (FMSQ) will have to come up with the idea of negotiating with the Minister of Health, Gaetan Barrette, in the file of incidental expenses, decides Prime Minister Philippe Couillard.
On the sidelines of an economic announcement at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday in Switzerland, Mr Couillard vigorously ruled out the possibility of entrusting this mandate to the President of the Treasury Board, Pierre Moreau, as requested by the Federation representing more Of 10,000 doctors.
“The answer is no,” he said at the last press briefing of his economic mission. It is not they who decide who they are negotiating with. If we start with that, as soon as someone has a difficulty negotiating, he will ask for a change of minister. It does not work that way in the government. ”
Exceeded by the attitude of Minister Barrette, the president of the FMSQ, Diane Francoeur, lamented on Thursday the vagueness surrounding the definition of these incidental expenses, denouncing the precipitation of the latter to want to prohibit them without negotiating how, where these services will be offered And at what rates.
The by-law on incidental expenses comes into force in less than a week, on January 26th. Theoretically, doctors will no longer be able to demand payment for services that are insured. Ms. Francoeur had mentioned allergy tests, IUDs, lenses, alarms and plasters that are currently available in medical practices.
Dr. Francoeur asks the government to take a few more months to better define and better regulate these costs so that the situation is clearer for everyone.
In addition to medical specialists, Mr. Barrette also kicked out proprietary pharmacists as part of the negotiations on the complete removal of their professional allowances.
This did not prevent M. Couillard from reiterating his confidence in his Minister of Health, recognizing in passing that he had an “energetic personality”.
“Mr. Barrette has his style, “said Mr. Couillard. I think it’s a network that needs an energetic personality. I am sure we will come to an agreement, but we have to negotiate. The Conseil du tresor is already present. ”
Like the pharmacists, the FMSQ has retained the services of former PQ Prime Minister Lucien Bouchard to represent it in the context of any legal remedies it may bring.
The Prime Minister also regretted that some doctors had stopped making appointments in their clinics and others had dropped the public sector.
“I find it regrettable because they know they will be paid,” explained Mr. Couillard. I do not see why they make patients suffer. There is no reason.”
Barrette proposes a blitz of negos
The Minister of Health, Gaetan Barrette, hinted on social media that he proposed to the Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec (FMSQ) to participate in a blitz of negotiations on the weekend to settle the matter Of incidental expenses.
The press secretary of Minister Barrette, Julie White, confirmed Friday night that the government had launched this offer to the FMSQ, which would have remained unanswered at the moment.
Joined by telephone at the end of the evening, the director of public affairs and communications of the FMSQ, Nicole Pelletier, refused “to enter this manipulation”.
M me Pelletier stressed that the Minister had “taken its time” and that he expected “several months” before agreeing to negotiate with the FMSQ.
She added that the organization “would do what it has to do”.
Negotiations between the two sides began on Friday.
The by-law on incidental expenses comes into force in less than a week, on January 26th. Theoretically, doctors will no longer be able to demand payment for services that are insured.