Doctors working for Quebec
Doctors in Québec are paid by the act. This means that they have a special relationship with the State, their only client. Instead of having a work contract, they have one of service. Québec doctors have the same benefits as salaried workers, in addition to being allowed to incorporate themselves for their services. Therefore, they also have the financial benefits of an enterprise. Moreover, the “by act” system does not speed up the prestation of services, since the most lucrative services are not necessarily the most urgent and/or efficient.
This particular system is unfair to public and private sector workers in Québec, who often pay higher taxes and are paid less than doctors. I believe that we must put doctors on the same playing field as everyone else. Doctors must receive an annual salary instead of being paid by the amount of actions they undergo. Through this, health professionals will be able to use their knowledge to determine the needs of their patients and not be subjected to an arbitrary definition of the worth of a certain action.
Doctors would be paid a similar amount per year (without being able to reap the benefits of incorporating themselves). I know, of course, the importance of the work of doctors in Québec, but we must, as a society, be fair to all workers.
Luckily, in Canada, medication is cheaper than in some other states around the world. However, we cannot ignore the fact that generic drugs are expensive when compared to their production cost. Thus I approve of the idea concerning the creation of a corporate structure named Pharma-Québec which will have the mandate to produce and distribute generic medication in Quebec . On the other hand, I do no wish Pharma-Quebec to be the only generic medication producer. My belief is that it must act as a competitve player causing a reduction in medication prices that are provided by private companies; similar Petro-in effect to what Petro-Canada did to energy prices in days gone by.
With this business model, Québec will not deprive itself from a product manufactured by a private company which might be more audacious or interesting than that offered by Pharma-Quebec`; this will force Pharma-Quebec to remain competitve in its procedures and in its management. Furthermore, Pharma-Quebec can also influence the price of medication in other jurisdictions by offering its products to the rest of Canada and everywhere that Canada possesses a free trade agreement. Pharma-Québec would then be competitve on the international market, generating revenues by selling its products to North-American insurance companies as well as to our European partners.
A responsable plan for recreational Marijuana
The legalisation of recreational marijuana is an important public health issue, as well as an individual liberty issue. The government of Canada proposed and adopted, in the house of commmons, bill C-45 on the legalisation of cannabis. Concerning the framework for the provincial regulations, I am partially in agreement with the project presented to the National assembly of Quebec. I believe that the provincial government must have a determinant role in the distribution and the production of a responsable recreational product and must finance awareness campaigns on the health risk of substance abuse. I will encourage a similar business model like the Société des alcools du Québec and it’s educative partner, Éduc’alcools.
However, I completely disagree with the prohibition on the production of marijuana plants for personnal use, when the federal law does not. I consider this law unapplicable if such a production is not criminalised. The quebec state, having no reasonable power for coercion, cannot apply this mesure.
A universal medication regime
The RAMQ permits us to obtain “break even” or discount prices for medication. The integration of this entity was a compromise with insurance companies to allow the subsistance, in Quebec, of private insurance companies. The RAMQ has a large bureaucracy that analyses requests and has the power to investigate. It is a bureaucratic organization that documents, archives and homogenizes the requests of medication that it covers to the advantage of private medication insurance plans.
My beliefs are that we should have a universal medication insurance system since, firstly, it is a more just system, but also because the cost of its bureaucracy would be lower compared to that which we currently have. Universally covering all prescription medication already authorized by Health Canada is simpler (because the supervising work of the medication is done by the Canadian government instead of by that of Quebec) and is less expensive . Thus, salaried employees and employers would significantly reduce their expenses towards private insurers.
I also believe in a system that covers medication, but also basic dental care and the purchasing of prescription glasses. Basic dental care and universal accessibility to quality eyesight are instrumental in maintaining a good health which allows, in the long term, to avoid more disastrous and expensive complications for the system to cover.