The Quebec health care system has been very weakened by liberal reforms without consideration or nuance everywhere in Quebec (centralization of decision-making power, loss of local management, compulsory mobility over huge territories, bureaucracy that suffocates the speed of action).
Our establishments have accustomed us to overflows in the summer, during the holiday season and often in January. Now let’s add COVID-19, flu, gastro, etc. There are also employees infected Where absent from their work for many reasons, some of which go back to these liberal reforms which caused absenteeism for approximately 20% of employees.
We owe all our admiration to the employees for their dedication, despite the many organizational inconsistencies with which they have had to deal daily for several years now.
There were confusions in the management of CHSLDs and caregivers, the initial lack of interest from Public Health regarding the wearing of masks, the use of rapid tests, the ventilation of schools and public buildings. , and N-95 masks. We are now witnessing difficulties for the administration of the third dose of the vaccine, PCR screening, access to rapid tests and overall the very management of the pandemic.
The CAQ regularly blames the Liberals who were in power from 2003 to 2018 (with a slight PQ interlude) for this poor record. Nevertheless, the government’s bureaucratic strategy relies on the same mandarins and on the advice of D.r Bar solicited by the CAQ to get us out of the pandemic. Since its election, the CAQ has even proceeded to the appointment, to the position of assistant deputy minister of the MSSS, of the three former directors of the cabinets liberals of health who participated in the dismantling of the health network.
After his about-face in 2020 on holiday gatherings, the Prime Minister is doing it again in 2021, when Omicron was already well present in Europe. We now find ourselves with a curfew hardly justifiable despite the current context. This exceptional measure was essentially based on the fact that people were not vaccinated. Since the population of Quebec is now very massively vaccinated, this measure appears to result more from an abuse of power guided by polls and political calculation. The social acceptability of the curfew appears to be compromised, as we better understand its perverse effects and its collateral damage. The pandemic requires many aspects to be taken into account, such as the protection of vulnerable people, the prevention of feminicides or other violence caused by isolation, mental health, especially of the youngest, without forgetting economic activity.
The government’s handling of the pandemic must be reviewed without delay. The many contradictions of the government could affect the application of health protection instructions. It is absolutely necessary to free the Department of Public Health from political pressures in order to know who says what and allow actors to be held accountable.
The time for decrees is over: mutual agreement contracts, the imposition of working conditions, etc., are eating away at the patience of Quebecers and the time has come to restore the right to speak to the citizens of Quebec by lifting the health emergency in order to ensure the full democratic functioning of our institutions. The time has also come to review the management of the pandemic by calling on various specialists in health, but also in socio-economic circles, education, tourism, culture, regions, etc.
These specialists need to be more independent of government. The population has a right to speak in the choices made to protect it and allow it optimal and equitable social functioning, all based on science and the realities observed elsewhere in the world.
The fight must continue and absolutely everything must be done to ensure that the population voluntarily participates in this effort which will lead us to an end to the crisis.
Sylvain Roy, MNA for Bonaventure