--- Our healthcare contravenes the Québec Act
I wish to alert your readers of the irresponsible, unacceptable, and disheartening state of healthcare in our region. The lack of available services in primary, preventive, non-urgent health, and urgent care is creating distress and jeopardizing the safety of the citizens in Aylmer and the region surrounding Gatineau.
As per the Government of Canada (2021) website, Quebec is the highest taxed province in Canada since “the government of Quebec finances a wide variety of services that other governments do not” (Gov of Canada, 2021). As a Quebec taxpayer, I would like to know why I cannot access basic healthcare services for my children, husband or myself? How is it that I contribute to this public plan, but I cannot access the services that are partially funded by my family’s contribution through income tax deductions?
The Quebec Act respecting health services and social services states that “Every person is entitled to receive, with continuity and in a personalized and safe manner, health services and social services which are scientifically, humanly and socially appropriate” (1991, c. 42, s. 5; 2002, c. 71, s. 3.).
The current state of healthcare in this region contravenes the act.
My husband frequents Montreal for specialist health services. A recent appointment with a specialist there was cancelled because a simple diagnostic test could not be completed in Gatineau prior to his appointment in Montreal. The diagnostic test (EMG) could not be completed due to a machine malfunction. The machine broke over 3 weeks ago and has not been fixed yet.
My family doctor relocated and found replacement care for us. The notification of this change advised us of our new family doctor -- in July 2021. I was able to contact a secretary only after 2 months of calling the clinic. The line was always busy, and the website could not offer appointments. I was informed September 23 that we are on a waiting list to meet our family doctor and have our first medical appointment in 7-8 months.
Last week my son suffered an accidental facial laceration. The only available evaluation and treatment were outside the province in a pediatric emergency department. We waited over 6 hours for a 5-minute procedure. He developed a viral infection 48 hours after the emergency room visit. Presumably, he contracted a virus while waiting in an over-crowded space with other people suffering viral illnesses. The viral infection resulted in absence from school and my employment, plus Covid testing. The situation might have been avoided if there were adequate services in our region to assess and treat the initial injury.
The state of our healthcare is despicable, and I demand change. More family physicians and nurse practitioners are needed here. Incentivize providers to work here. Recruit providers to the region. Retain providers through quality management which balances workloads. If primary care and semi-urgent services were available, the burden on the acute care services could lessen. People need prompt access to their care providers to prevent their health from deteriorating. Children need vaccinations and wellness checks. Women need preventive care and prenatal care. Men need preventive care and adequate screening. Chronic disease sufferers need continuity. Aylmer and the region are expanding exponentially. These services are basic healthcare, required for the well-being of all citizens. Find a solution to offer acceptable healthcare to your citizens!
Name withheld (a wife, mother of two children, and a Registered Nurse)