Government & Policy
Quebec health minister says major shakeup coming
March 15, 2023
QUEBEC CITY – Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé (pictured) on Monday said a huge overhaul of the province’s healthcare system is coming soon, including the creation of a new agency called Santé Québec, which will be tasked with co-ordinating the daily operations of the healthcare network while the Health Ministry itself will concentrate on establishing general policies.
“I’m telling you, in two weeks the columns of the temple will … I looked for a better word, but they will shake. … Why? Because everyone will have to contribute. We’re going to ask a lot,” said Dubé, referring to the imminent tabling of his healthcare reform plan and making it clear he was referring to unions, physicians and healthcare administrators.
The minister said he fully expects to experience “some very difficult moments” once the reform is made public.
Dubé made his comments during a forum organized by the CHUM, the Board of Trade of Greater Montreal and the Quartier de l’innovation en santé de Montréal. Dubé stressed the necessity of not only innovating the health network’s technology, but above all the processes of getting things done.
The new agency, Santé Québec, was an election campaign promise by the Coalition Avenir Québec. During the election, the party said it was justified on the ground that “the ministry cannot at once be responsible for planning and daily operation operation of the (health) network.”
Dubé has also challenged healthcare workers unions – which are in the process of negotiating new contracts – to exhibit a willingness to do things differently.
“We need collective agreements that are more up to date,” Dubé said, referring to contracts covering nursing staff and orderlies. “I’m not saying it’s anyone’s fault, I think it’s everyone’s fault. But we have contracts that are incredibly rigid.”
The minister argued that until those contracts reflect the realities of balancing work and home life, health workers would continue to shun the public network.
The other fundamental element of Dubé’s reform is the digital transformation of the network’s operations. Given the recent chaos created by an attempt by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) to do the same, the minister tried to reassure the population.
Dubé argued that the errors that had occurred at the SAAQ would allow the government to learn from its mistakes to ensure a more successful transformation in the healthcare network. He also said he would like to see the digital profiles created by clients of the SAAQ used in their digital health file.
Source: Canadian Press