Ministers visit the Pontiac New medical faculty announced

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Allyson Beauregard

OUTAOUAIS – Prior to their caucus meeting in Hull on September 7 and 8, a number of Quebec Cabinet ministers toured the Outaouais on September 6, visiting a total of 72 locations across the region, many of which were in the Pontiac.

Allyson Beauregard

OUTAOUAIS – Prior to their caucus meeting in Hull on September 7 and 8, a number of Quebec Cabinet ministers toured the Outaouais on September 6, visiting a total of 72 locations across the region, many of which were in the Pontiac.
David Heurtel, Minister of the Environment, visited the Quyon Ferry and Mountain View Turf in the Municipality of Pontiac;  Francine Charbonneau, Minister for Seniors, stopped at the Pontiac Reception Centre in Shawville and St. Joseph’s Manor in Campbell’s Bay; Pierre Arcand, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, explored the Ile-du-Grand-Calumet mine and met with the presidents of
rural Chamber of Commerces including Mireille Alary; Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs, spoke to the Council of Mayors in Otter Lake; Kathleen Weil, Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness, spoke to the Regional Association of West Quebecers’ board of directors; and Luc Blanchette, Minister of Forestry, spoke to Pontiac Forest Products Producers Board and the Groupement Forestiers du Pontiac.
According to Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin, the visits gave the ministers a chance to better understand the realities in the Pontiac and Outaouais. “The ministers had discussions with various individuals working on files that are in need of their
attention, and the mayors had the opportunity to explain what they need in terms of support, financing, etc,” he said.
New Outaouais medical faculty
In the morning prior to a visit to the Gatineau hospital, Premier Philippe Couillard announced that a satellite medical faculty offered through McGill University will be constructed above that hospital’s ER division in hopes of retaining more doctors in West Quebec and increasing the number of family doctors available. The aimed completion date is 2019.
The two storey, 3,000 square meter facility will house the satellite medical faculty as well as the Centre de médecine familiale de Gatineau (GMF), currently located across the street from the hospital, in order to offer on-site training.
Each year, 24 students from the McGill medical school will be placed into the four-year program, so 96 students will be trained at a time.
According to Fortin, similar faculties in Trois Rivières and Saguenay have a 40% retention rate. “The students will do their work placements in the Outaouais and will
get to know our health systems, patients, etc.  And, hopefully, they will decide to stay in the region, after they complete their studies,” he told the Journal, noting that specialists will also graduate from the program.
With the faculty and curriculum approved, the project is currently in the design phase. Once a floor plan has been drawn and approved, the project will go to tender.