The agreement between the Government of Quebec and the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) will both improve accessibility to services for the population and save around $3 billion.
The agreement, covering the period from 2015 to 2023, is the longest ever signed with medical specialists. This agreement will ensure stability and predictability for costs relating to doctors’ remuneration, meeting the objectives fixed by the government during negotiations:
- Stabilize the costs relating to medical compensation at 20% in the overall budget of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux;
- Account for an annual average growth of 3% for costs relating to doctors’ compensation.
No new sums of money have been granted as part of this agreement. Any money spent results from previous agreements between the Government of Quebec and the FMSQ. The two parties agreed to spread the total reimbursement over a period of 10 years in accordance with the government’s financial policy, which caps the average annual growth of doctors’ income at 3%.
The amounts will be structured as follows:
- 4% per year over 8 years = $511 million (recurrent)
- 2% per year over 10 years = $1.5 billion over 10 years (not recurrent)
A new partnership
The biggest gain from this agreement is the new partnership with the FMSQ, which will ensure better conditions for delivering care to patients and improve the organization of the work. The FMSQ has committed to cover the costs of some items using $105 million from its package, including:
- A national plan to avoid any service disruptions in all basic specialties throughout Quebec;
- Costs relating to ultrasounds in the private sector;
- Improved access to MRIs.
In case of a breach of the measures set out in the national plan, penalties up to $3,000 per day for an individual and $200,000 for associations can be applied.
$3 billion in savings
Under this agreement, the 5.25% trailer clause agreed upon in the 2014 agreement between the government and medical specialists is revoked. In addition, the estimated savings are mainly explained by the 3% average annual ceiling and the change in practices (arrival of new doctors) being limited to 2%.
The agreement reached with the FMSQ will enable the past to be dealt with while ensuring patients’ accessibility to care is improved. We have previous engagements and must respect them. A contract cannot be torn up without consequences. Look at Ontario, where federations are in arbitration to debate their compensation. No new money is involved in today’s agreement. The 8-year duration of the agreement ensures that doctors’ remuneration is stable and predictable and so reduces the pressure on public finances.
– Pierre Arcand, Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review and Chair of the Conseil du trésor
Entente 2015-2023 avec la FMSQ