More private health: the CAQ proposal divides the opposition

The CAQ’s desire to make more room for private health care divides the opposition parties: Québec solidaire and the Parti Québécois recall the costly experience of employment agencies, while the Liberal Party criticizes the government for having been slow to go forward.

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The opposition parties reacted on Monday to the remarks of the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, who confirmed his intention to entrust more surgeries to private clinics, after these had demonstrated their effectiveness in helping the public network during the pandemic.

Mr. Dubé presents the contribution of the private sector as one of the elements of the overhaul of the health system desired by his government.

“It’s not a refoundation, it’s a resignation. He lowers his arms. He is not capable of reforming the public system, so he does the simplest thing that all neoliberals do: he turns to the private sector, ”replies the united deputy Vincent Marissal.

During the election campaign, the CAQ had promised ambitious measures, including a reform of the mode of remuneration of doctors, in addition to fetching $1 billion from the pockets of medical specialists.

“He resigns outright, saying: we are not capable, so we will go to the private sector”, considers the united critic.

Placement agencies

Solidaires and péquistes recall that the health system has been trying for years to wean itself off employment agencies, which rents nurses and trained attendants at high cost at the expense of taxpayers.

“The system has become so fragile that it is completely dependent on private companies to provide public services. This example, on its own, should prove to us that it should not be transposed into other spheres of the health network, ”underlines PQ MP Joël Arseneau.

QLP initiative

On the side of the Liberals, the discourse is quite different. MP Monsef Derraji recalls that it was the Couillard government, in 2016, which set up three pilot projects to test the capacity of private clinics to offer hip, knee and cataract surgeries.

“The three pilot projects have demonstrated their effectiveness,” says Mr. Derraji, who criticizes the Legault government for its “late awakening” to follow up.

“There are 150,000 people waiting for surgery. If we can make partnerships, without it costing the patient anything, at the end of the line, it is the patient who will benefit,” he says.


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