New health agency Santé Québec | Health reform gets off on the wrong foot
March 29, 2023
Québec City – The Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS) strongly condemns Bill 15, the Loi visant à rendre le système de santé et de services sociaux plus efficace, tabled by the government as part of its health reform (Plan santé). “The whole approach to the introduction of this bill was fundamentally flawed by the failure to consult employees and other stakeholders in the field prior to tabling the legislation,” said APTS president Robert Comeau. “Government after government has been making the same mistakes for decades: more centralization and less consultation. It’s the perfect recipe for making matters worse.”
As the largest union of professional and technical employees in the health and social service system, the APTS is deeply concerned about the emphasis on centralization in this legislation. “Of course we agree that the health and social service system should be made more efficient,” said Comeau. “The pandemic clearly showed that decentralization is essential to make our public services more resilient and allow for rapid response in the event of a crisis. But rather than learn from past mistakes, this bill picks up where the Barrette reform left off.”
The APTS is equally worried about the unintended consequences for the health and social service system of merging seniority lists. “This proposed measure will inevitably destabilize work teams and create tensions between co-workers,” said Comeau. “Our members deserve to be treated with respect and fairness, and there is no guarantee of that with this measure. We are calling on the government to take the concerns of employees into consideration and to work with us to find solutions that are acceptable to everyone,” he added. In the same vein, the APTS is worried about the pernicious effects on the provision of care and services in a number of regions.
The APTS will continue to defend the interests of its members and will communicate its recommendations and expectations regarding Bill 15 during specific consultations. We are determined to work with the government to improve the health and social service system, but we cannot do this in the absence of consultation and cooperation,” said Comeau. We are calling on the government to respond to our concerns and to work with us to find solutions to improve and sustain the care and services provided to all Quebecers, concluded Comeau.
The APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux) represents more than 65,000 members who play a key role in ensuring that health and social services institutions run smoothly. Our members provide a wide range of services for all Quebecers, including diagnostic, rehabilitation, nutrition, psychosocial intervention, clinical support, and prevention services.