A group of Quebec doctors for decentralization of the health system (RQMDSS) held a press conference today (August 27) alongside mayors and elected officials from across the province, once again voicing their frustration with the fallout of Bill 10. Also known as the “Barrette reforms” after the Liberal health minister at the time, Gaétan Barrette, the 2015 law centralized administration of Quebec’s health care services, reducing the autonomy of regional hospitals and clinics like those in Pontiac.
One of the main speakers during the event was Serge Péloquin, mayor of Sorel-Tracy, and he spoke about the difficulties that centralization have brought to his region. His was one of the more than 50 municipalities that have signed on to a petition asking the government to give some control back to local administrators.
MRC Pontiac Warden was another elected official that spoke during the conference, and related some of the issues facing the region. She pointed out that the obstetrics unit at the Pontiac Hospital has been closed for a year and a half.
Toller also spoke about the difficulty hiring nurses in the region, due to the proximity of Ontario where the wages are higher.
Toller attributed part of the problems with hiring and retaining workers in Pontiac’s facilities to the lack of autonomy that local managers have.
More information on the movement can be found on group’s website.