Advertisement

Quebec budget 2017: Nurses’ union wants money for care, not doctor salaries

Click to play video: 'Quebec budget 2017: Nurses’ union wants money for care, not salaries' Quebec budget 2017: Nurses’ union wants money for care, not salaries
WATCH ABOVE: Quebec’s 2017-18 budget is promising to increase spending in the health sector by just over four per cent, but one nurses union says not enough is being done to assure high quality patient care. Global's Raquel Fletcher explains – Mar 29, 2017

The Quebec government’s latest budget outlines plans to increase spending in the health sector by just over four per cent, but one union is calling it an “illusion.”

READ MORE: Quebec budget 2017: More money for health, education and Montreal’s electric train project

The Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) insists the new cash is not enough to offset Liberal cuts in previous budgets — saying the government has budgeted six per cent for doctor salaries, but if they obtain more than that, the government would be forced to eat into the money allotted for patient care.

READ MORE: PQ skeptical about Quebec health minister’s promise for family doctors

The FIQ, which includes nurses but not doctors, say its members are forced to work overtime and the budget isn’t doing enough to assure high quality patient care.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Quebecers searching for doctors turn to private companies for help

The opposition Parti Québécois (PQ) argues the health department spends more per capita in salaries than the rest of Canada.

READ MORE: Critics cautiously optimistic as Quebec autism services get $29M

“But even this promise is incumbent on the decision of the doctors not to get [a] 12 per cent [raise] this year.”

WATCH BELOW: Debating doctors in Quebec

Story continues below advertisement

Quebec’s health minister insists doctors must be treated fairly.

READ MORE: Quebec politician makes plea for Alzheimer’s patients to have access to doctor-assisted death

“If we pay everybody less, there will be more money for care, there’s no doubt about that. So, are we to say we have to reduce wage increases in this province?” asked Health Minister Gaétan Barrette.

“It’s one thing to stigmatize a group; what’s important to us is to enter into a negotiation where everything is on the table with doctors.”

Lisée is calling for a freeze on doctor salaries.

Sponsored content