Quebec’s second opposition party, the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), has an idea to give Quebecers more family doctors.
The CAQ said if elected, it will force family doctor clinics to stay open on evenings and weekends to reduce the number of patients going to emergency rooms.
The party said that, according to the latest statistics from RAMQ, 461,000 Quebecers currently do not have a family doctor.
The CAQ called that a “broken Liberal promise.”
Last year, Quebec’s health and welfare commissioner found that the province has the longest emergency room wait times in the western world.
CAQ leader François Legault also suggested Quebec needs to change the way doctors are paid.
Legault said about 70 per cent of payments are based on a fee for service and this is inefficient because it does not provide an incentive for doctors to make sure they are available for follow-up appointments.
“If a doctor delegates a service to a nurse, he’s not paid for it. So, what we need to do — and they did it for example, in British Columbia — we need to have a large portion of the payments being done on a per patient basis,” Legault explained.
He said doctor salaries should be based on how many patients they have and not on how many services they provide, adding that ideally, a full-time doctor would have 1,000 patients.
WATCH BELOW: Health care in Quebec
The CAQ released an attack ad this week on the Liberal’s health record over the last 15 years, making the allegation, among others, that prisoners are better treated than seniors in long-term care.
In a series of tweets, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette called the CAQ “populists” and argued they had no plan.
Legault replied that the tweets make the minister look like a “goon.”
“The Liberal Party is used to battling on only one subject – being against the sovereignty of Quebec,” he said.
WATCH BELOW: CAQ courts the English vote
However, they still face a major obstacle in beating the Liberals in next year’s election: they currently have no seats in Montreal and still lack significant anglophone support.
Legault acknowledged getting anglophone votes will be a challenge.
“I still have a year to convince anglophones that they have an alternative. I still have a year to convince the anglophones that we can do better in economy and health care and education.”