Under-Use of Operating Rooms : The FMSQ Has Been Saying So for a Long Time

Montreal, June 6, 2016 – In the wake of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) public statement, the President of the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ), Dr Diane Francoeur, is happy that the subject has once again drawn media attention. "According to our evaluations in the field, operating rooms are in use 75% of the time; but even if the statistics made public by the CAQ are inexact, the problem is real and it's never sufficiently discussed."

Dr Francoeur wishes to remind everyone that, in 2008, the FMSQ had made a tour of some twenty operating suites in various regions of Quebec accompanied by representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Services and other partners within the network, in order to identify the failures resulting in the under-use of operating rooms and to implement appropriate solutions that would improve performance. After having implemented corrections in the organization of work and added resources, an improvement in productivity of up to 15% was observed.

More recently, in 2015, during parliamentary committee meetings on Bill 20, the FMSQ reminded members that the problem of under-use of operating rooms was due in particular to the lack of personnel, the absence or breakdown of equipment and the lack of beds in wards and in intensive care.

"We are more than ready to make another tour to identify the winning strategies of the best-performing operating suites in order to customize solutions for hospital centres that are not performing as well," added the President. "There are patients who have been waiting for surgery more than a year and medical specialists who are ready and willing to operate on them. It's time to act," she concluded.

The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec represents more than 10,000 medical specialists certified in one of 59 recognized medical specialties.