Quebec's medical specialists were planning to go to court this week, but that was stopped when they got a phone call.

Negotiations over Bill 130, which Quebec's federation of medical specialists has been fighting for a year, had reached an impasse.

In the spring the FMSQ brought in former premier Lucien Bouchard to act on their behalf.

The organization's head, Diane Francoeur, was no longer willing to talk to Health Minister Gaetan Barrette and was preparing to file legal action.

"That close. It's there, it's ready. It was ready to go [Wednesday], and it's big and thick," said Francoeur.

Bill 130 would give hospital and health centre directors the power to force doctors to work at night and on weekends, all with the aim of speeding up patient care so people don't wait months to get results.

Those who don’t meet hospital requirements could risk being suspended.

But early Wednesday morning Premier Philippe Couillard took charge of the dossier.

"This morning the premier minister informed me that he will now take over in our negotiation of our working conditions," said Francoeur.

The FMSQ said it has been assured that Barrette will no longer be at the negotiating table.

It's a highly unusual move, especially since Barrette led the FMSQ for many years.

Quebec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir, himself a doctor, was shocked by the decision.

"The most privileged of the doctors, the most corporate of the doctors, old pals of Mr. Couillard, then suddenly Mr. Couillard hears them, and takes charge," said Khadir.

Barrette did not comment on the decision -- but the federation suspended its legal proceedings