A dozen organizations demanded Friday that Quebec pass a law to impose patient ratios in health care, ensuring that staff aren’t given too many people to care for.

“There is no doubt that safe ratios must be a standard that’s applicable everywhere,” said the vice-president of the FIQ union, or the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec, Jérôme Rousseau, at a press conference in Montreal.

“Our health system has significant problems. Our staff are overworked and exhausted,” he said. “It’s the patients, the clientele, the nursing staff and the caregivers who suffer from it.’

He gave the example of a nurse who finds herself with 150 patients under her care, and who “must choose the care she has to provide,” since it’s impossible for her to meet all the needs.

A representative for the Quebec Association of Nurses, Kenza Rahmi, argued that the shortage of health staff is not an excuse to not impose ratios.

“It’s not a problem of shortages, but of retention of care staff,” she said, explaining that the poor conditions create a vicious cycle where more and more workers leave the field.

The ratios are therefore, according to her, “a central solution to improving the network’s ability to attract and retain nurses.”

The FIQ, which instigated the campaign, published a plea online and invited organizations and individuals to join the list of signatories.

The list of those who signed currently includes the Quebec Association of Nurses, the Quebec Association of Gerontological Nurses, the Quebec Nursing Consultation and Influence Group, the Popular Education and Community Action of Quebec, Quebec Doctors for the Public Plan, the Order of Nurses and Nursing Assistants of Quebec, the Order of Nurses of Quebec, Proche aidance Quebec, the FADOQ network and the Interprofessional Grouping of Retired Health Care Workers. health.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 29, 2022.

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