Has Quebec reduced the number of new doctors planned for Abitibi-Témiscamingue?

According to the government, Abitibi-Témiscamingue will be able to hire 11 new doctors in 2024.

Rouyn-Noranda and the Vallée-de-l’Or would each benefit from three new doctors, two would go to Ville-Marie and two to Abitibi-Ouest and only one for Abitibi. No new resources will be allocated to the Temiscaming region.

The distribution of the new jobs is based on the gap between needs and resources observed in each regionaccording to a press release from the Ministry of Health.

However, the Association of General Practitioners of Northwestern Quebec (AMONOQ) speaks instead of nine posts associated with the region.

That’s two fewer than originally calculated by the ministry, notes the association’s president, Dr. Jean Yves Boutet.

Since the PREM 2022 is not yet fully staffed, the Ministry [de la Santé] took away two spots in the 2023 PREM and told us we were not biased as there were spots available in the previous year’s PREM and we hadn’t recruited as planned. Therefore, the originally announced number of 11 was reduced to 9 by the minister‘ says the doctor.

This is confirmed by the communications department of the department The PREMs 2022 apply from 01.01ah December 2021 to November 30, 2022. The DRMGs [Départements régionaux de médecine générale] have until January 15, 2023 to fill these positions, otherwise they will be withdrawn.

He mentioned that six doctor positions planned in the PREMs 2022 have not yet been filled.

Doctors are disappointed

decision reduce the number of doctors for the region was discussed at the annual general meetingAMONOQwhich took place in La Sarre a week ago.

dr Jean-Yves Boutet says this downward adjustment was badly perceived by doctors, who see it as an ambiguous message from the ministry.

Since 2015 we have always had a reduction, we went from 224 doctors to 194. It’s up a bit this year, but doctors have been very available during the pandemic, so there’s fatigue in the field and two jobs away isn’t symbolically accepted. »

A quote from dr Jean Yves Boutet

He claims that doctors understand the logic of the decision, but most who are there would have liked a pat on the back and not stumbled upon this cut, which is understandable, but it’s more symbolic to be told, ‘We’re taking two away from you to take them to other regions” when our recruitment is already very difficult. We fear that doctors will retire in the coming years […]that there are orphaned patients that continue to increasehe says.

When asked about this, the Ministry of Health claims that Abitibi-Témiscamingue has 11 recruitment opportunities for 2023, including 9 places for new doctors and 2 places for doctors with interregional mobility [des médecins déjà en pratique qui déménagent]for a total of 11 places.

Darren Pena

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