Our health network jeopardized

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The CISSS de l’Outaouais (CISSSO) has been in the news again.
Since the merger of health and social services institutions in 2015, and since the

The CISSS de l’Outaouais (CISSSO) has been in the news again.
Since the merger of health and social services institutions in 2015, and since the
creation of the CSSS in 2005, institutions in Quebec have had their operating budgets cut by millions of dollars. This largely pays for skilled labor. Wanting to reduce costs too much and implement assembly-line methods, inevitably our whole network will be undermined; there will be an impact on the quality and the number of all services offered.
These cuts and “reorganizations” are the source of our problem of attracting and retaining qualified personnel. For those who stay, burnout or demobilization lurks. Thus, the almost constant lack of staff in all care units, in the CHSLDs and other social services, only accentuates this vicious circle of lack of resources. In addition to constant cuts, working conditions are far from attractive. Weekend work shifts, atypical schedules, low salaries, and all that in a context where the nature of work is very emotional — this is not attractive for future candidates. This reality is truer since the creation of CISSSO; the distress felt among our members has only increased.
At CISSSO’s recent press conference, I heard with astonishment that the management wants to get an external point of view, to have “a new perspective” … well, it’s no mystery, CISSO’s problems, like many other public institutions in the province, grow from underfunding and continual “reorganization”.
I was equally surprised that our region’s Liberal deputies are unable to take a critical look at the impact of their reforms, cuts, and resulting professional working conditions.
CISSSO employees are dedicated people who want to provide good care, but who need the resources, tools and support to do so.
With privatization and over-centralization, as now with the closure of kitchens in CHSLDs or the closure of residences serving intellectual disability clients, we have not finished hearing of the health network’s troubles.
So Minister Barrette hands out Christmas gifts on the eve of upcoming elections!  This re-injection of some funds into the health network is not even close to the cuts we have suffered. He is literally making fun of the public, health and social workers, and of our valuable public health network.

Josée McMillan
Présidente du STTSSSO — CSN
Gatineau