Dr. Gaétan Barrette, re-elected president of the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec

The Delegates' Assembly of the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) has re-elected Dr. Gaétan Barrette, without opposition, to the post of president. Dr. Barrette, a radiologist, has held this position since November 2006, when he replaced Dr. Yves Dugré. This is his third mandate.

Since Dr. Barrette assumed the Presidency, the FMSQ has multiplied its interventions in health-related issues. Convinced that the organization of work in the public healthcare network must be reviewed, the Federation has, among other initiatives for the benefit of patients, gone on a tour of operating theatres and concluded that the number of surgeries could be increased by 15% to 20%, actively contributed to improving the clinical set-up of the new CHUM, laid claim to an improvement of practice conditions in the field of pathology, and supported recourse to nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

Under Dr. Barrette's guidance and in line with its mandate to defend its members' interests, the Federation extols the fact that expertise has a price. This is true not only for physicians but also for all professionals who work within the public system. It is for this reason that the FMSQ publicly supported nurses as well as Crown prosecutors and Québec jurists in their salary demands. In fact, last winter, the Federation put out a courageous advertising campaign proposing economic measures for the 2010-2011 budget which was then being prepared by the Minister of Finance. Among the nine measures proposed by the Federation, three were adopted by the government, including a review of the policy on the purchase of generic drugs which will generate hundreds of millions of dollars for Québec's treasury.

With a view to contributing to public debates, President Barrette, in the name of the FMSQ, lodged a challenge to the possible recriminalization of abortion and was among the first to take part in cogitations on euthanasia and end-of-life care.

"My undertaking as a union representative is to promote better practice conditions and competitive remuneration for medical specialists. I am also a fervent defender of a strong public healthcare system," says Dr. Barrette. "I thus consider it my duty to take concrete action so that all Québec residents can have better access to healthcare, even if some aspects are more delicate than others to address."

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