The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) is promising to build a pair of private medical centres that would provide free services reimbursed by medicare.
CAQ Leader François Legault made the announcement Saturday in the eastern Montreal riding of Anjou-Louis-Riel, and says the first two clinics would be up and running by 2025 in Montreal’s east end and Quebec City.
The medical centres, open seven days a week, would include a family medicine clinic, a 24-hour emergency room for minor ailments and day surgeries as well sd other basic health services
Legault describes the proposed centres as an intermediate level between family clinics and major hospitals that could ease the strain on the health network.
Outgoing health minister Christian Dubé anticipates the centres could lead to a 30 to 40 per cent reduction of traffic in emergency rooms in their respective regions.
“If we want to change the health network, we have to change the recipe, innovate and review the place of the private sector,” said Legault.
“For us, the private sector must be free for the patient […] but it is certain that in the end, it is the government that will pay.”
He acknowledged using the word “private” when it comes to health care was delicate, but noted that 20 per cent of services in the province are already provided by the private sector.
Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois criticized Legault’s plan, saying if the private sector was working in our health network, we would know.
“There’s never been more private sector [intervention] in our health-care system. Private agencies are failing us. Private CHSLDs are failing us,” he said Saturday afternoon during a campaign stop in Rimouski.