Charter will hurt hospitals, says Liberal health critic
Quebec health critic Yves Bolduc is seen here in a CP file photo from May 15, 2012.
Published Thursday, September 19, 2013 5:11PM EDT
Hospital patients will be among the main victims of Quebec’s values charter if it passes, according to former Minister of Health Yves Bolduc.
Doctors, nurses and new recruits will choose to practice elsewhere because of the hostile climate that the PQ government seeks to establish, said the Jean-Talon MNA at a press conference Thursday at the National Assembly.
“In the Montreal area you have many doctors and nurses who are Jewish, Muslim and Hindu and those people will decide to leave and patients won’t be able to get treatment,” said Bolduc.
Bolduc was unable to say how many health professionals wear religious symbols in Quebec hospitals, but he is convinced that many of them are mobile and in demand worldwide.
According to him, the draft charter will not only cause medical staff to move away, but will also discourage many other talented people from moving here.
“There are those who will conclude that Quebec has become an intolerant society that denies them the right to self-expression and they’ll opt to move to other places.”
Bolduc also compared the situation to the staffing issues suffered in Quebec in the 1990s.
“With retirements and decreased admissions to medical faculties, Quebec had a great shortage of hospital staff, much worse than other provinces, every doctor you lose, you lose expertise and you decrease accessible to medical service.”
However PQ Health Minister Réjean Hébert when asked to comment on Bolduc’s views, said that the charter will help lure doctors wishing to practice in an environment free of religious symbols. He does not believe there will be a wave of departures, just a few isolated cases.
“There are health professionals who come to Quebec precisely because it is neutral. And if there is some threatening to leave, we'll see if they follow through on their threat, it doesn’t worry me,” said Hebert.
-With a file from The Canadian Press