Anglophones will remain in control of their health care, the province’s health minister assured Quebecers Monday.

While institutions will be losing their boards of directors, announced changes to the Liberal government’s controversial healthcare reform bill will also include protection for Anglos, Gaetan Barrette said.

“Bilingualism remains, ownership remains, control of the physical institution remains,” under Bill 10, he said.

Two newly created health boards on the West Island and downtown will have bilingual status, while the so-called CISSS health boards will give Anglos a say in how things are run.

“There will be the guarantee that there will be someone Anglophone on the board,” said Barrette.

Health care institutions will be permitted to keep their names. The foundations that raise money for them will continue to exist; donors will be able to specify where they want their donations to end up.

“The legal guarantee that they will have to spend the money that was raised in the institution,” said the health minister.

In a committee examining the amendments, the PQ said it wonders why this bill matters so much.

“We question the choices he has made to prioritize this element,” said PQ health critic Diane Lamarre, who notes only three of 64 groups that testified agreed with it.

Lamarre said the cost of transitioning to the new system under Bill 10 has yet to be laid out, and wondered how all the health boards can be dissolved by April 1.

CAQ health critic Eric Caire said the changes are good news for patients, but promises it will study all 165 articles of the bill.

Barrette will retain the power to appoint and fire the heads of the boards that run Quebec health care institutions.

He insisted they will not be partisan nominations, but necessary links to ensure taxpayers’ money is being well spent.