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Québec health and welfare commissioner’s report on the first wave of COVID-19 | Recommendations support APTS proposals to improve health care and services in CHSLDs

January 24, 2022

Longueuil – The Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS) welcomes the recommendations of the Health and Welfare Commissioner, Joanne Castonguay, in her report assessing the care and services provided to seniors during the first wave of COVID-19. They are in line with the representations made by the union since the beginning of the pandemic, and at the hearings headed by Coroner Gehane Kamel, which have just ended.

“Ms. Castonguay's recommendations once again confirm what the APTS has been stressing since the beginning of the pandemic: we have no choice but to change if we want to prevent these unbearable situations from happening again. The frenetic push to measure performance by statistics rather than focus on the quality of care and services for Quebeckers is the fundamental cause of this collective failure,” declared Robert Comeau, president of the APTS, after reviewing the report of the Health and Welfare Commissioner.

For the APTS, it is imperative that we rethink the entire health and social services system and put an end to working in silos and fixating on hospital-centred care. The focus has to be on providing a continuum of care and services, and making sure that prevention and people’s well-being are at the heart of our priorities. This requires a significant reinvestment to recruit the necessary human resources and keep them in the public system. And that means improving working conditions and conditions of practice.

"Management of the healthcare system has to be brought down to a more human level. To have a better understanding and knowledge of the issues on the ground and be able to react quickly when crises arise, we need proximity management. The expertise of professionals and technicians is crucial, as they provide essential care and services for seniors. They help prevent a decline in seniors’ level of health, and improve their quality of life. The Commissioner’s recommendations have to be implemented in partnership with labour organizations, including the APTS, to ensure their effectiveness. We’re ready to work with the government to help make this a reality," concluded Robert Comeau.

The APTS

The APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux) represents a total of 60,000 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 the population as a whole, including diagnostic, rehabilitation, nutrition, psychosocial intervention, clinical support, and prevention services.