QCGN Congratulates New MUHC Board and Pledges its Support

Montreal – September 18, 2017 – The Quebec Community Groups Network welcomes the appointment of a new Board of Directors at the McGill University Health Centre. We strongly hope that this will allow the resolution once and for all of systemic issues and the ongoing standoff between one of our most important institutions and the Quebec government.

“We congratulate Peter Kruyt and the other members of the new MUHC board who have taken on this formidable task. We look forward to helping and supporting them in dealing with the major challenges facing the MUHC,” said QCGN President James Shea. “Quebec’s English-speaking community counts on the new board and Health Minister Gaétan Barrette to provide the MUHC with all the tools it needs to thrive and continue to serve all Quebecers with the high level of specialized and super-specialized care they require.”

“For many months now, the QCGN has been concerned about the deteriorating situation at the MUHC and the inability of its leaders to come to a workable arrangement, along the same lines many other institutions which had been facing tough negotiations with Health Minister Barrette and his ministry officials,” said QCGN Vice-President Geoffrey Chambers. “But we remain troubled that the process to name the new board does not appear to have included input from members of the community who have in-depth knowledge of the community and of our health and social services network.”

Following July’s unexpected mass resignation of independent MUHC board members, the QCGN expressed strong expectations that successor board members would be selected on the basis of strong community involvement, coupled with a profound understanding of and familiarity with the operational characteristics of Quebec’s health and social-services system.

“Over the last two months, the eight-member search committee did not reach out to the QCGN, to the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) or to patient groups and others. Consequently, the new board is an impressive group of people with experience in business and finance. However, we know little of their experience with Quebec’s health and social services and our community structures. “This,” he emphasized, “bodes ill for the long-term connection of these institutions and the community.”

“When Bill 10 was introduced and passed two years ago, QCGN was deeply concerned with the drastic reduction in the number of institutions and governing boards,” said Shea. “We were even more worried about the powers it conferred on the Minister to directly appoint those leading the mega-merged health care consortiums that are managing the many hospitals and social service centres that were created and, for decades, supported by our community.”

Chambers added that the search for candidates was too narrow. From the QCGN’s perspective, the final board does not reflect the full range of skills needed or the necessary understanding of the community and its needs. “These are all financial and pharmaceutical folks with no broad sense of how health and social services really work in and for our communities. But these are all good people and the community will provide all possible support.”

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