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Press release
16 December 2019

Agreement with the Fédération des Médecins Spécialistes : The CAQ is Trying to Pull a Fast One

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The creation of the Institut de la Pertinence foreseen in the new agreement between the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and the Fédération des Médecins Spécialistes (FMSQ) is just a means of diverting attention from the real issue, which is physicians’ remuneration. The agreement unveiled today by the government and the FMSQ will not significantly reduce the specialists’ incomes, which was Premier François Legault’s commitment.

During the election campaign, Mr. Legault committed to tearing up the current agreement with the FMSQ. Once he was in power, he realized that wasn’t possible. He therefore committed to reducing specialists’ aggregate payroll by $1B per year. At $1.6B over 5 years, today’s agreement is a far cry from the original goal.

Given that it did not follow through on its commitment, the government sought a means of diverting the public’s attention by submitting the idea of creating the Institut de la Pertinence. This proposal has no impact on physicians’ remuneration. How this institute is going to function is yet to be seen.

I can confirm without the slightest hesitation that there isn’t a specialist whose salary will decrease next year. It is a victory across the board for the FMSQ. The President of the Conseil du Trésor makes it seem like doctors will earn less. Can he tell me how optimizing services translates into a physician earning less money if the associated fees do not decrease? It’s impossible. In an attempt to conceal their inability to negotiate lowering physicians’ salaries, the government tried to pull a fast one on the population by balancing a series of numbers nobody understands and by proffering the creation of an Institut de la Pertinence. Quite the public relations operation.

–Gaétan Barrette, Liberal Critic for files associated with the Conseil du Trésor.