Friday, April 3, 2009

Montreal Gazette Misses the Real Story -Again

Friday's Gazette had a front page story by Charlie Fidelman entitled "MD pact a one-way brain drain, top doc warns."
The story details an agreement whereby Quebec and Ontario doctors will move easily between the two jurisdictions without a lot of red tape.
"The accord will allow doctors who hold full practice permits to obtain equivalent work permits for the neighbouring province rapidly – within 24 to 48 hours." -Gazette
The gist of the article is that it will lead many doctors to leave Quebec due to inferior working conditions and salary.

What is absolutely incredible, is the fact that the writer fails to mention that the Quebec government has already let health agencies know that it has frozen new positions for specialists until the end of next year.

I can't for the life of me understand how this fact remains unmentioned anywhere in the mainstream press.

I wrote a piece about last Sunday. Link

Here is the article on the FRMQ website. (Quebec Medical Residents Federation)

Wednesday 11 March 2009
Moratorium on PREMS in Specialties

"On February 2, 2009, Quebec's Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services sent a directive to Quebec health and social services agencies, confirming the implementation of a moratorium on regional physician resource plans (PREMs) in specialties until November 30, 2010. Thus, terminating medical residents will have to choose a position among those not filled last year.

Only two exceptions are noted: radiation oncology and haemato-oncology, which will benefit from a degree of flexibility.

The government points to the changes made over the past few years in the organization of care within the system, the establishment and consolidation of service corridors and the opening of new settings to justify the position freeze. It submits that, as a result of these changes, the government has to take time out to re-evaluate needs. The Federation reacted strongly to this piece of news and a letter stating our position was sent to the deputy minister.

The president of the FMRQ also wrote an editorial on the issue, which you can read in the March 25, 2009 issue of Actualité médicale and on the Federation's Web site."

Here is a letter written by Martin Bernier, M.D. president of FRMQ to M. Jacques Cotton (Deputy Minister- Health and Social Services) complaining about the moratorium decree.

So I'll ask again. Which is a bigger factor in Quebec losing doctors?;
  1. The fact that it's now easier for doctors to move to Ontario, or


Why does the Gazette Health editor fail to mention this hiring freeze?
Does he not think that that a moratorium on hiring specialists is pertinent to an article he pens discussing a potential doctor exodus????

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