Response to “Rural health care” letter

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It is important to us to reassure readers of the Journal on the intent of the proposed legislation, and the impact it will have on the care available at the Shawville hospital, and Pontiac CLSC facilities.

It is important to us to reassure readers of the Journal on the intent of the proposed legislation, and the impact it will have on the care available at the Shawville hospital, and Pontiac CLSC facilities.
The proposed Bill deals with administrative organization of the healthcare system across the province. Currently, there are 5 CSSSs in the Outaouais; all administer regional hospitals, a network of CLSCs and various other services. Their budgets are overseen by a regional healthcare agency. What Bill 10 is proposing is to eliminate the regional agency, and to have only one regional establishment, the Outaouais CISSS (Centre intégré de santé et services sociaux). The exact same scenario would play out across the province.
The legislation intends to put the patient first, to make sure that his or her healthcare needs are the only factor at play, and not    the priorities of various hospital administrations. By simplifying the system, there will be administrative cost savings of $220      million per year of your tax dollars, a necessity given the state of Québec’s finances.
The physicians asked us a number of questions about our commitment to     maintaining services in rural areas. Believe us when we say this: you will not find two individuals more resolved to maintain and even enhance rural services than us. This applies to healthcare, but also to services in general. Your concerns about Bill 10 are the same ones we had when talk of re-organization began. Time and again, we asked for and received assurances that every point of service would remain open and that every service offered at these locations would still be offered. Our healthcare services are here to stay!
Finally, we made the dialysis project a priority during the last campaign. It is also our community’s priority, and we will       continue to work towards this goal.
Be assured, rural healthcare services are not at risk.
Stéphanie Vallée
Minister of Justice and Minister
MNA for Gatineau
André Fortin
MNA for Pontiac