Problem Situation at the CISSS des Îles-de-la-Madeleine : The FMSQ Intends to Follow Developments Very Closely

Montreal, July 10, 2017 – The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) has reacted to the publication of the audit report and welcomes the arrival of two accompagnatrices who have been named to redress the exceptional situation that holds sway at the Centre intégré de santé et services sociaux (CISSS) des Îles. However, the FMSQ will not let the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) act alone, and will be following the situation very closely.

"Feared by the administration, this report has long been awaited by the healthcare team which has been living with a long-standing distressful situation. In fact, the FMSQ was the first organization to raise the alarm on the problem situation that has long existed on the îles de la Madeleine and to request the setting up of a joint mission, bringing together all stakeholders, to take stock and implement rapid and durable corrective measures. The appointment of the two accompagnatrices was necessary. The MSSS acted rapidly when faced with the importance of the situation and as soon as the audit report was published. However, before taking action, was it necessary to wait until the situation degenerated and the quality of care was placed at risk ? Everyone, whether administrators or professionals, need to find a way to work together again in the interest of the population, whose needs are very specific because of its insular location," indicated Dr Diane Francœur, the President of the FMSQ.

"The problems we identified were numerous; but, in our opinion, they resulted mainly from management's attitude which contributed a great deal to the deterioration of the situation. A real change of approach becomes necessary and the task of the two accompagnatrices will not be simple. Happily, their presence will facilitate the institution of good management and governance practices and the use of tools that are already available to support the team in place, such as service corridors or telemedicine. The FMSQ, which intends to collaborate and to follow the issue very closely, will not hesitate to again intervene and request new actions if the situation does not improve in the very short term," continued the President of the FMSQ.

"What should we remember from this situation collectively ? For us, it clearly illustrates the perverse effects of the Minister's reforms resulting from the adoption of Bills 10 and 20, and gives us a preview of the collateral damages which will follow the adoption of Bill 130. We have before us a Minister who holds all the power and who terrorizes managers to such a point that the latter prefer to keep quiet regarding the urgent problems they are experiencing within their institutions rather than to look bad before him. The trend is becoming generalized. As we saw on the islands, administrators will increasingly try to restrict the practice of medicine by discrediting those who dare oppose recommendations that are not in the interest of patients and by resorting to rules that will undermine the commitment of teams who are resolved to defend patient needs," added Dr Francœur.

"The FMSQ formally committed itself to propose an active recruitment campaign in order to encourage the permanent settlement of physicians on the islands, but also to ensure the implementation of measures that encourage the retention and loyalty of physicians, as well as of a permanent and proactive contingency plan for medical manpower to act as replacements, and, finally, to rapidly establish mentoring conditions for the team on site by colleagues from the mainland. We will act rapidly and we hope that all stakeholders in this file, starting with the MSSS, will do the same in the interest of all residents of the islands," 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.