Negotiations With Medical Specialists : A Call To Order Is Needed

Montreal, September 17, 2014 – Following declarations yesterday by Gaétan Barrette, Minister of Health and Social Services, with regards to negotiations currently taking place, the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) is asking Premier Philippe Couillard to call his Minister to order.

"It is not by making false affirmations or using incendiary comments in his public declarations that the Minister of Health will succeed in creating a climate of real collaboration with a view to reaching an agreement. We want a negotiated agreement. We are committed to collaborating to reach a balanced budget, but the government must also show an open mind and be flexible. Imposing is not negotiating," declared Dr Diane Francœur, President of the FMSQ.

"Yesterday, Gaétan Barrette's declarations have once again shown his ability to exaggerate, even to invent. It is untrue to say that we came to the negotiating table without any figures. It is also untrue to state that we are looking at pressure tactics, that our attitude is dogmatic and that we do not want to make the smallest concession. It is evident that the Health Minister is manipulating things when he compares our Federation's proposal with that of the general practitioners – we are in two parallel universes when it comes to what is at stake. The FMSQ has no intention of being made into a political tool by Gaétan Barrette, no matter what," continued Dr Francœur.

"We have tabled not one, but several proposals that would allow the government to recuperate substantial sums of money. The Minister himself has recognized this. We are flexible when it comes to adjustments that could be made regarding the payment of the amounts that were included in our agreement for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, but, for us, the foreseeable end of the current government's mandate remains an absolute must. We insist on the fact that the majority of projected investments must be realized during the Liberal mandate. Fobbing off more than half the bill to the next government would be irresponsible," concludes Dr Diane Francœur.

The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec represents close to 10,000 medical specialists certified in one of the 53 recognized medical specialties.