Although Quebec’s health system is among the best in the world, major challenges remain in terms of accessibility and continuity of care, according to a report by the Health and Welfare Commissioner on Thursday In the National Assembly. The organization believes that the difficulties of the health system are not linked to an insufficient budgetary envelope, but rather to the organization of care and the distribution of human and material resources.
Overall, Quebec is doing well in terms of the health status of its population, the good outcomes of hospital care and the technical quality of care, both in terms of safety and relevance As well as on good practice, stresses the CSBE in its latest performance appraisal report for the health and social services system.
“However, some major challenges remain in Québec, particularly in terms of accessibility and continuity of care,” observes the Commissioner.
In his view, waiting times for access to care are often too long, either for family physicians or specialists, for diagnostic tests, or for surgery that is not prioritized by government policies.
The CSBE also notes that information does not necessarily follow the patient on his or her journey within the health system. “There is little sharing of information between health professionals about the patient, especially from the specialist physician to the family doctor,” he deplores in his 70-page document.
The cost of medical services provided by family physicians is particularly high, 1.7 times more than the same services as the Canadian average, and are less available outside of regular hours (evenings and weekends) Commissioner. A problem that the Minister of Health, Gaétan Barrette, promised to settle with the opening of 50 superclinics by the end of 2018.
Another concern of the CSBE is “documented inequity in patient follow-up and health outcomes for those with the lowest incomes”, a major issue that he believes should be the focus of the system’s concerns The Quebec public. “Vulnerable populations are more in need of services and these unmet needs exacerbate their unfavorable conditions. This lack of equity goes against solidarity, a value that is dear to Quebec society, “he wrote.
The CSBE also deplores the fact that it is absolutely impossible at this time to draw a picture of the results of care received by cancer patients due to the unavailability of recent data. “Yet cancer is the number one cause of death in Quebec,” he says.
The Commissioner also notes a “limited” multidisciplinarity in Quebec clinics. According to him, the nursing staff is not sufficiently involved in the management of patients.