Agreement in Principle Ratified by the FMSQ's Decision-Making Bodies
Montreal, September 26, 2014 – During a special assembly last evening, the Delegates who represent the 35 medical associations affiliated with the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) approved the agreement in principle reached with the government and recommended by its Board of Directors.
Ninety-seven percent (97%) of the Delegates accepted the terms of the agreement hammered out by the government and the Federation's negotiating team on September 23rd. Nonetheless, the Delegates insisted on "re-asserting the fundamental principle requiring that, in a free and democratic society, the government must keep its word and stand by its signature."
The government, it must be remembered, unilaterally decided to renege on the agreements signed in good faith with general practitioners and with medical specialists. The objective of the negotiation was to again spread out the sums that initially should have been paid to physicians in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. In this regard, the FMSQ has made important concessions on the initial agreement which already extended over 10 years.
"The government asked us to take part in the collective effort to redress public finances. We willingly agreed to collaborate in this effort. We have always shown good faith when it came to deferring the amounts owed, as long as it was in a reasonable and responsible fashion. Today, Quebec's medical specialists are providing the government with substantial room to manoeuvre," said the President of the FMSQ, Dr Diane Francœur.
"We have accepted to defer 85% of the sums that should have been paid to us in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 :
- To start with, no money will be paid to us for the current year.
- Then, the payment of the residual amounts will be spread over a period of 7 years. We have succeeded in obtaining that more than half of the sums that were due to us be paid during the first mandate. This point was fundamental for us, because we refused to push it down the road and into the purview of subsequent governments.
- As confirmed by the Minister of Health, the money kept back will be entirely dedicated to the deficit with nothing going towards services to patients. In order to have the financial concessions made by medical specialists used directly for health care for the population, the FMSQ offered and gave to the government the money that was to be paid to them during the 8th year of the agreement, that is $350 million. Our commitment to the future.
"Because we keep our word, we insisted on negotiating with respect and openness. Now, it's up to the government to do its part by using our contribution wisely. We will be on the lookout," concluded Dr Francœur.
The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec represents close to 10,000 medical specialists certified in one of the 53 recognized medical specialties.