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Quebec medical specialists seal 3-year deal with the provincial government

On Wednesday, a new three-year agreement was announced by Treasury Board president Christian Dubé and the head of the specialists federation (FMSQ) Diane Francoeur.
On Wednesday, a new three-year agreement was announced by Treasury Board president Christian Dubé and the head of the specialists federation (FMSQ) Diane Francoeur. Global News

Quebec has a new deal with its medical specialists. The announcement of the new four-year agreement  was made Wednesday by Treasury Board President Christian Dubé and the head of the specialists federation (FMSQ), Dr. Diane Francoeur.

Medical specialists will be taking a $1.6-billion pay cut, which will be re-invested back into the health care system.

“It tells you the real effort that has been done by the specialists,” said Dubé.

“Because they didn’t have to do that. There were other ways to do it.

READ MORE: Deal between Quebec government, medical specialists close, FMSQ president says

“We said, ‘how can it be a win-win for both of us?’ We didn’t go for confrontation and the patients are winners,” said Dubé.

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Click to play video 'CAQ government under pressure over doctors’ salaries' CAQ government under pressure over doctors’ salaries
CAQ government under pressure over doctors’ salaries

The agreement, in effect until March 31, 2023, was made based on the priority to concentrate on improving access to health care and services, according to the treasury board.

At the heart of the agreement is the creation of a new institute to determine what medical acts are no longer necessary. A committee of doctors, government officials and patients will review the pertinence of certain medical acts, in order to ensure adequate medical care is offered at the right time and with the right professional resources. They will be responsible for reinvesting the money saved into better care.

“We took numbers that we can deliver not only for a financial reason, but also for the specialists to be in an environment that they can deliver transparency but also making sure they’re giving the right care,” said Dubé. During the 2018 election, Francois Legault campaigned on the objective of reducing the specialists salaries by $3 billion dollars.

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READ MORE: CAQ government under pressure over doctors’ salaries

The head of the medical specialists federation, Dr. Francoeur, told reporters this deal is good news for doctors who have struggled with criticism from the public that they were being overpaid.

Certain bonuses will be abolished, rates of certain medical acts could be reduced with the consent of the FMSQ and medical acts that aren’t pertinent will be eliminated, all while assuring access to specialized medical care and services is preserved.

This will help the growing needs of the health sector and will prioritize access to care, according to Dubé.