OPTILAB Project : Upcoming Meeting between the FMSQ and the Minister of Health

Montreal, October 6, 2016 – Because of the numerous doubts raised by the OPTILAB project, the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) has asked for and been granted a meeting with the Minister of Health. This meeting will take place on October 25th and will provide the President of the Federation, Dr Diane Francœur, with the opportunity to share the concerns of the various medical laboratory specialties directly affected by this project.

In the meantime, the FMSQ in association with the Presidents of the medical laboratory specialties involved, will hold a "last chance" meeting this evening with representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Services aimed at obtaining a formal commitment and guarantees with regards to the major stakes brought to light by this project, i.e. the security and quality of the transportation method used as well as the traceability of samples in real time. The deployment of OPTILAB requires that these essential elements be guaranteed before existing laboratories are reorganized.

The FMSQ insists on the fact that, before moving the laboratory staff and equipment from hospital "A" to hospital "B", the secure transportation of samples and the deployment of the computer systems needed to communicate results must be demonstrated, in place, tested and functioning throughout Quebec and during every season.

"As we have been saying for many years, we are in favour of any project that helps improve the efficiency of the healthcare system. This also applies to the OPTILAB project... but not blindly. The risk today is of implementing such a major project in the knowledge that it can result in harm to patients," the President of the FMSQ, Dr Francœur, reminds us.

"The issue is the security of patients. Medical specialists refuse to take the risk that a diagnosis not be made following the loss or deterioration of a sample during transportation, or that a treatment be unacceptably delayed because of the late transmission of results," concludes Dr Francœur.

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