The FMSQ Salutes the Abolition of Accessory Fees in Hospital Centres

Montreal, July 21, 2017 – Since the signature of the agreement in principle on accessory fees with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS), last January 27th, the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) has had to intervene multiple times with the MSSS to denounce the fact that hospital centres were continuing to charge fees to patients, while these same fees were forbidden in doctors' offices since the adoption of the regulation on accessory fees.

"Very recently again, on June 22nd, we had to write to the MSSS regarding pessaries and IUDs. Since the start of negotiations, we had been requesting that the abolition of accessory fees be generalized and, consequently, that it apply as well in hospital centres. It would seem that a news article was needed to force the MSSS to act and to clarify the artistic blurring it deliberately maintained, even on its own Web site that was supposed to inform the population. It was time that this practice of illegal billing stop, even though it was tolerated by the MSSS itself in its own public institutions. Let us salute the abolition of accessory fees, a great victory for patients. However, we must invite the population to remain extremely vigilant," commented the President of the FMSQ, Dr Diane Francœur.

A lot has been written about this accessory fee saga. Here is a short collection of comments from the President of the FMSQ on this issue since 2016 :

• Press Release, January 27, 2017 – Accessory Fees and the Public Coverage of Ultrasounds: The FMSQ Announces an Agreement in Principle :

"There is still a lot of confusion in the field, because the distinction between what is allowed and what is forbidden is far from clear. We continue to deplore this state of affairs for patients who are the ones directly affected..."

• Speech by Dr Diane Francœur, January 19, 2017 – Stakes Touching Medical Specialists :

"Be advised that the regulation regarding accessory fees is full of holes. […] The information published by the Ministère de la Santé is incomplete and raises more questions than it answers […]. What is allowed is unclear. What is forbidden is unclear." 

• Press Release, September 15, 2016 – Abolishing Accessory Fees: The FMSQ Will Do Its Part, but Accessory Fees... Cover More Than Eye Drops :

"« They [Opposition Party MNAs] should also ask him [the Minister] if he intends to abolish all accessory fees in hospitals : for example, some of the intraocular lenses for the treatment of cataracts; the units of botulism toxin used for intersphincteric infiltrations under general anesthesia; the crutches, splints, fiberglass casts and other forms of immobilisation; the pessaries; the dilators and the sleep tests, to name only a few. The population should also demand that the Minister have hospitals reduce parking fees to $5.00."

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