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Government announcement
14 September 2016

Minister Gaétan Barrette abolishes user fees

In order to prohibit all user fees imposed for services which are covered by Medicare in Quebec, and those that are stipulated in the province’s remuneration agreements with doctors, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Mr. Gaétan Barrette, announced today that a proposed regulation to this effect had been ratified by Cabinet.

Québec, September 14, 2016.

This proposed regulation clearly illustrates our commitment to guarantee universal access to our health care system for the entire population of Quebec.  Services which are covered by Medicare will henceforth be offered to the public without additional billing to the patients who make use of those services.  Patients are already paying for these services when they pay their taxes.  It should be noted that we are the first government which has ever really addressed this issue, first by adopting Bill 20, and now with the forthcoming publication of this regulation.

– Gaétan Barrette

The only services for which an additional payment can be required of a patient who is insured by Medicare are the transportation costs of biological samples which were taken in a doctor’s office or in a specialized medical centre.  A patient may be charged a maximum of $15 for blood samples involving a blood test.  For any other biological sample, the cost may not exceed $5.

We are proposing a sustainable solution to improve access to health care in Quebec, and abiding by recommendations made to us by the Auditor General.  This initiative taken by our government confirms the principle that medical services are offered free of charge in Quebec, and sends the signal that we intend to continue our efforts to guarantee the integrity of our health care system, for the benefit of the population of Quebec.

– Gaétan Barrette

This proposed regulation follows the adoption of Bill 20 on November 10, 2015.  That bill already established the principle that user fees must be abolished, and granted to the Government of Quebec the necessary regulatory authority to accomplish that goal.  In keeping with the procedure for the adoption of regulations, the proposed regulation will be published for 45 days as of September 28, 2016.