Death of the 4th President of the FMSQ, Dr Pierre Gauthier

Montreal, November 28, 2016 – The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) sadly announces the death in Sept-Îles of Dr Pierre Gauthier at the age of 80.

Dr Gauthier attended the Université de Montréal where, in 1964, he earned his doctorate in medicine. As soon as he got his licence in 1968, Dr Gauthier settled in Sept-Îles where he opened his pediatric practice. His knowledge of remote regions provided him with a special expertise and, when he arrived at the FMSQ in 1983, his understanding of regional stakes, the organization of services and medical itinerancy were all very useful in his negotiations with the government.

Dr Gauthier was one of the rare Presidents to have held several positions on the Board of Directors before becoming President of the Federation on May 12, 1994. As President until 2001, Dr Gauthier went head to head with then new Minister, Jean Rochon, who announced a major reform of the healthcare network with mergers and closures of hospitals, the suppression of short-term beds, and a shift to ambulatory care and day-surgery. With the government's announcement of a freeze on spending, medical manpower was substantially reduced which led to many forced retirements. Dr Gauthier was successful in negotiating an end-of-career indemnity as well as the implementation of a mixed mode of remuneration. It was also during his Presidency that the gap in remuneration of medical specialists compared to their Canadian colleagues was identified and deplored.

"We owe a lot to Dr Gauthier, a visionary who cared about reconciling the needs of the population with those of the organization of healthcare. While all of Quebec lived according to the precept of a zero deficit in the 1990s, Dr Gauthier, who was conscious of the lack of investment in healthcare and of the degradation of medical equipment, loudly proclaimed the need for access to quality healthcare for everyone. Also, because he witnessed a clear feminization of the profession, Dr Gauthier was one of the initiators of a project that led, a few years later, to parental leave," confided our current President, Dr Diane Francœur.

Dr Gauthier was honoured last March 17th when the FMSQ made him a member emeritus. "In the name of the members of the Board of Directors, our staff and all the members of the FMSQ, I wish to offer my most sincere condolences to Dr Gauthier's family," concluded Dr Francœur.

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