The FMSQ, the MQRP, the MSSS and Extra Fees

Montreal, June 10, 2013 – The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) was surprised to learn by way of the media that "the Minister of Health claims to have been working for the last six months on the implementation of a plan that aims to abolish these fees." And yet, the FMSQ has not seen any proposed approach in this regard since September 4th.

"We have said it many times : it's up to the government to select the level of coverage of medical services, both in hospital and in private offices. In addition," according to Dr Barrette, "the government has historically chosen to limit public access to medical services in private offices by voluntarily and knowingly choosing not to use public funds to cover the operational costs associated with some of these services. This is why the example given by the MQRP misleads the public. In fact, in the case of endoscopies performed in private offices, the fee paid by the RAMQ to the physician is for his professional act. Obviously, this act is the same as at the hospital. However, in a private office, the physician has significant costs to cover including, for example, those related to staffing, to the acquisition and maintenance of endoscopes, to sterilization, etc. These costs are not covered at present by the public health insurance plan in Quebec, thus giving rise to these extra fees," explained the President of the FMSQ.

So, we hear the Minister has a plan. Fine. There are two options : either everything is done at the hospital or the government makes sure public funds cover all the costs associated with medical services, whether at the hospital or in private offices. And yet, "since this universal non coverage currently constitutes a limitation of access to medical services in Quebec and since we have been asking that this situation be corrected for a number of years, we hope that Minister Hébert will address the entire issue and not simply a few isolated cases as prompted by certain groups," mentioned Dr Barrette.

The FMSQ also reiterates that no plan of this nature can be executed without the collaboration of the two medical federations and "we deplore the fact that these efforts seem to have been undertaken for the past six months at the MSSS without implicating anyone from outside the department," concluded the President of the FMSQ.

The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec represents more than 9,000 medical specialists certified in one of the 53 recognized medical specialties.