QUEBEC CITY – One of Quebec’s largest healthcare unions is sounding the alarm.
Services, such as home care, are already being cut in regions across Quebec.
For instance, in Quebec City, bathing assistance is now only available five days out of seven.
Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) spokesperson Ann Gingras told reporters on Monday she has many examples.
“In the Centre de santé Montmagny, people that will go there for cancer treatment now have to bring their lunch,” said Gingras.
“Their lunch isn’t provided anymore by the center. We have to stop saying that the people won’t be affected. They’re going to be drastically affected.”
Public-sector workers are in the process of negotiating their next collective agreement.
They say the Liberals‘ proposed healthcare reform – or Bill 10 – is nothing but a smoke screen.
“The first and foremost objective is to cut back on the healthcare system, it’s not to make the system better,” added Gingras.
The province’s ombudsman, Raymonde St-Germain, echoes their fears.
“For me, it is a risk that if the reform is not well planned, these services will be cut, the access will be insufficient and this is serious,” she said.
Health Minister Gaétan Barrette insists his directive has always been that centers shed bureaucracy.
“Again, it’s always the same thing in healthcare. Always, it’s always emotion, not reason.” he said.
“If there are services that are cut, show me. Each and every time they say services were cut, I checked it out and it was not the case.”
The CSN promises to keep the minister in check.
The union will hold a protest, in Montreal and Quebec City, on November 29th.
“The people that wait hours to be seen in ER, that wait months to see a specialist, they’re the real problems that he should be looking at, not trying to count pens, pencils and paper clips,” said Gingras.
Read Bill 10 here: