Healthcare reform bill to be forced through, anglo groups concerned
Published Friday, February 6, 2015 12:00PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 6, 2015 4:57PM EST
The future of Quebec’s healthcare will be fiercely debated Friday at a special session of the National Assembly to vote on Bill 10.
Bill 10 is central to the LIberals' push to healthcare reform. The legislation aims to overhaul regional boards that administer healthcare throughout the province. It would also eliminate hundreds of middle-management positions.
The Liberals are taking the exceptional measure of invoking closure and limiting debate to pass the controversial reform bill, meaning it will be forced into law. With a 70-seat majority in the legislature, the Liberals will have no trouble doing so.
Critics are calling it a power grab and charge the bill won’t necessarily make access to healthcare any easier for Quebecers.
The governing Liberals are forcing this bill through because they say there has been enough debate on it and they just want to streamline bureaucracy and save money.
However the Quebec College of Physicians has said it does not have enough details yet on the final version of the bill.
Anglophones are worried they will lose control over their healthcare institutions, which was a key concern for groups like the Quebec Community Groups Network.
QCGN spokesperson Rita Legault said there is little hope of Anglophones retaining control.
“We’re not going to see that today,” said Legault. Health Minister Gaetan Barrette has said that option is simply not compatible with the bill.
The QCGN and other Anglo groups have met Barrette over the last few months to try effect changes to the legislation. After intense negotiations, they reached a series of compromises, which Legault said “should allow the community some level of input” within the healthcare network.
Legault added that the QCGN will be watching very carefully to see what is in the final version of the bill, which should be adopted in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Opposition parties say Bill 10 is undemocratic and centralize services too much. Some even believe the reform will open the door to privatization of healthcare.