How are we doing with our Quebec health System?
Quebec health System – For years I have ranted about how we can be doing so much better by using Nurses to do what they are supposed to be doing. Let’s move toward a “health care system” and not “a sick care system”
I came across a Gazette article in June 7th, 2016. “Quebec needs nurse practitioner clinics.” They looked to Ontario for examples of better and less expensive services saying specialized nurse practitioners cost the system approximately one third of what a general practitioner costs. I argue that all nurses with good clinical skills can assess the needs of individuals and use collective orders, which have been an option for years in Quebec, to prescribe blood tests, antibiotics, treat minor injuries and drain an abscess. The list is much longer than this but you get the idea.
Why then are we not using this option? Once tests are completed and results are in and reviewed by the nurse only abnormal results should be screened by the doctor for a medical plan. Follow up and teaching can then be done by the Nurse. We would “need less doctors, not more” and everyone could be seen quickly instead of waiting months for an appointment. The care and plan would be less fragmented because one nurse would know the whole story and consult various health care providers accordingly.
Once conditions and needs are identified by groups, various support systems can be developed to be sure diseases and conditions are well managed. Health care providers would focus on teaching and help people learn to self-manage. This approach would be much less expensive and provide a higher quality of care. Another consistent theme on my list of rants “Take charge of your own health.”
Imagine not needing to wait 12 hours in an emergency room for an antibiotic prescription for your child’s ear infection. Imagine not having to wait 3 months to have your ear unblocked. With collective orders a nurse can look after these problems within days.
Instead of looking at these solutions we remain bogged down with our centralized, bureaucratic, doctor run model that is not working! Nurse clinics can respond to the needs of those who do not have a family doctor for whom emergency rooms are their only access to the system. Non urgent cases represent a large percentage of emergency visits. What a waste of valuable resources! When will we wake up in our public sector? Fund these types of clinics! Instead the Health Minister’s idea is to support Family Medicine clinics operated by doctors. So far this has not improved our situation. Where’s this solution going? Nowhere fast!
Unfortunately the public sector is missing the boat and we the consumers and tax payers suffer because of it. The good news is that private nurse clinics are surfacing in Quebec. One such clinic that I have been recently working with is “24/7 Expertise en soins de santé.” They have a great operation and nurses and other health professionals often see 50+ people/day with various needs. The sad news for West Islanders is that they are on Mont Royal East. I do believe we could offer this service with a branch here on the West Island. What do you think?
In the meantime, I am pleased to announce that I am now partnered with 24/7 in providing Home Care Services. (www.expertise24-7.com.) This partnership allows us at Health Access to continue to provide quality home care services in our community as we have done for the past 20 years.