Exclusive

Quebec to overhaul health care system, eliminate thousands of jobs

Radio-Canada has learned that the Quebec government plans to eliminate thousands of jobs and an entire layer of bureaucracy in the health care system as it tries to balance its budget within the next two years.

The number of CSSS across Quebec to go from 182 to 30

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette plans to table a law in the coming days to restructure Quebec's health care system. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

Radio-Canada has learned that the Quebec government plans to eliminate thousands of jobs and an entire layer of bureaucracy in the health care system as it tries to balance its budget within the next two years.

The restructuring of the health care system comes as the province tries to find $3 billion to cut from its budget.

Premier Philippe Couillard said there are no sacred cows.

“Changes to structures will be numerous,” he said.

According to the exclusive details obtained by Radio-Canada, the Couillard government plans on eliminating health agencies.

Health and social services centres (CSSS), which include hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities, will be merged.

The goal is to go from 182 centres to between 25 and 30.

The move is expected to save $220 million a year.

As for local community services centres (CLSC), none will close down but the reform aims to streamline bureaucracy. Instead of having several general directors or human resources directors in a region, there will be one.

5 new centres for Montreal

Due to its higher population density, the island of Montreal will get five new health, rehabilitation and social services centres.

These five centres would share the management of hospitals, nursing homes, CLSCs and rehabilitation centres.

The McGill University Health Centre, and University of Montreal Health Centre and the Sainte-Justine Hospital will not be affected.

Sources told Radio-Canada that Health Minister Gaétan Barrette plans to table a law within the next few days.

If all goes according according to plan, all the cuts will be made within two or three years.