Negotiating with Medical Federations : The Minister of Health, Réjean Hébert, Didn't Get It All


Montreal, March 20, 2013 – The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) deems it necessary to react to the comments of the Minister of Health and Social Services, Réjean Hébert, regarding the negotiations undertaken between the medical federations and the government subsequent to the tabling of the budget.

Underlining that Minister Hébert was an observer at these negotiations and that exchanges with the Conseil du trésor were both cordial and constructive, Dr Barrette explained that the FMSQ reacted favourably to the government's request and proposed a scenario whereby increases already granted to medical specialists would be spread over time. In fact, Quebec's medical specialists already accepted the spreading of their increases starting in 2006 up to 2016.

Contrary to what Minister Hébert claimed, the Conseil du trésor's request did not involve $100 million, but rather $200 million from medical specialists and $100 million from family physicians, the effort thus totalling some $300 million.

"Implementing agreements between the government and medical federations is particularly complex, with certain points carrying on from one year to the next or from one medical specialty to another. The government came to the conclusion that this complexity was so extensive that it withdrew its initial request on its own," explained Dr Barrette.

"However, even if the government chose not to follow through on our proposal, the FMSQ nevertheless freed up more than $100 million in order to contribute to balancing the budget. We have deferred the implementation of various measures that will generate savings for the government in the fiscal year 2013-2014."

The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec represents more than 9000 medical specialists certified in one of the 53 recognized medical specialties.