Quebec pressuring medical specialists to reduce surgery wait times
Nearly 5K patients wait more than a year for their operations
Despite the Liberal government's best efforts to cut down surgery wait times in the province, there are still about 5,000 patients who have been waiting for than a year for an operation.
Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said he plans to increase pressure on medical specialists in order to reduce those wait times.
At a Wednesday news conference, Barrette said progress has been made since the government signed an agreement with the Federation of Medical Specialists in January, but there is still work to do.
Bill 20, passed last November, was to impose quotas on doctors in the province. The application of the law, criticized by the specialists, was suspended until 2018 to allow doctors to voluntarily change their practices.
Barrette reiterated that if the specialists do not comply and don't reach the target, they will be subject to financial penalties, namely a 30 per cent reduction of their compensation.
The government wants doctors to, among other things, reduce the wait times for emergency consultations and prioritize patients waiting for surgery for over a year.
From Jan. 1 to June 30 of this year, the number of patients waiting for surgery for more than a year went from 7,009 to 4,995. Barrette said it a big but insufficient drop.
with files from La Presse Canadienne