The patients committee at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) says its members are upset that board meetings are being conducted exclusively in French. Some Anglophones are thus being excluded from the institutions that are supposed to serve the English-speaking community. “The board of directors, and the MUHC in general, is under fairly intense pressure and scrutiny to abide by Bill 96,” says MUHC chair Ingrid Kovitch. The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), questions the policy. “They have the bilingual status, so let’s use it,” says Eva Ludvig, QCGN president.
Tag Archive for: MUHC
Both the Quebec Community Groups Network and the McGill University Health Centre are concerned that the power to be given to Santé Québec – the province’s proposed centralized health agency – through Bill 15 will put English-language minority rights at risk.
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.”
The dust has settled since 10 independent members of the McGill University Health Centre’s board of directors quit in disgust two months ago, leaving a gaping hole in the governance of one of Montreal’s most important hospital networks and a major political problem for Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette.
After the mass resignation of 10 board members and a lukewarm explanation to the English-speaking community, Gaétan Barrette said he has a list of 20 candidates from which to strike a new board. However, Allison Hanes writes that it takes bravery for anyone to step up and fix the MUHC, especially after the tense and toxic relationship between Barrette and the last board.
The QCGN was caught in the crossfire when it was revealed they were working quietly behind the scenes to overhaul the board. She also hinted that Barrette should choose wisely MUHC board members so they have legitimacy in eyes of the English-speaking population, also that this new board should be a way to reset the situation in this institution.
The 10 independent members of the board of directors of the McGill University Health Centre resigned en masse Monday, saying they have been hamstrung by Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette.
The board said it cannot function effectively with a health minister who threatens trusteeship, especially since it can’t even name its chair or CEO. This exodus was a reaction on a series of hurtful events, one of which was the media release of several reports on the MUHC commissioned by the Health Department.
Parti Québécois health critic Diane Lamarre said the MUHC showdown demonstrates Barrette absolute authority over health institutions. The QCGN welcomed the mass resignation as a way of resolving the crisis of governance.
Montreal, July 10, 2017 – The crisis in governance and leadership at the McGill University Health Centre has moved a substantial step closer to being resolved following today’s mass resignation of independent board members, said the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN).
“Each of these board members deserves to be commended for having done the right thing,” said QCGN Vice-president Geoffrey Chambers. “The English-speaking community acknowledges the sincere effort and hard work that each has given during their Board service. They have earned our respect and our thanks, in equal measure.”
Montreal, May 19, 2017 – The English-speaking community should be reassured this morning that major parties now acknowledge the leadership vacuum that exists within the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and are agreed on the urgent need to resolve it. In particular, the Quebec Community Groups Network warmly welcomes the admission by the MUHC Foundations that such a crisis exists.
Both the Foundations and Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette agree with us that recent developments have opened up the way to a constructive approach. We must all work together to remedy the systemic MUHC problems. The situation cannot simply be allowed to further deteriorate.
By James Shea and Geoffrey Chambers
The English-speaking community is being challenged to ensure that during decades to come, our McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is provided with all the tools it needs to flourish. This applies equally to the front-line network of institutions through which most of our patient care is delivered. In many ways, we already have first-class institutions. We must act now to ensure they have a first-class future.
Our first move should not be to vilify a Quebec cabinet member who quite justifiably is calling on community leadership to address and solve the MUHC’s obvious problems. Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette is grappling “to make sure that the MUHC is stabilized.” He is understandably cautious about funding a profoundly dysfunctional system in the absence of a plan for corrective action.
The era of MUHC business as usual must be declared over. The forces of the MUHC status quo refuse to acknowledge this. Instead, they are trying to set Barrette up as the villain, the core cause of the problem. Let’s be blunt. Within the MUHC and across Quebec, English healthcare isn’t working to its full potential. The MUHC is afflicted with morale, managerial and other chronic issues. Holdovers from the Dr. Arthur Porter era have utterly failed to build the case for what we have long needed — a well-thought-through organizational redesign that is patient-centred. To accomplish the turnaround in governance and accountability that the MUHC so sorely needs, we require active engagement.
Whining is pointless. The Quebec Community Groups Network wants a productive debate and positive results on this and a variety of issues such as history curriculum, government services in English, bilingual signs, electoral map changes… the list is long. The way to achieve such progress is through evidence-based arguments, hard-nosed, fair-minded bargaining and a viable plan.
In health care, we need a system that doesn’t regularly drop the ball or needlessly escalate levels of care. One that doesn’t rule out the most promising option for oncology treatment because of the postal code of that patient’s home.
Most patients who have been through our system readily attest to the first-class care show by overburdened staff. Their best efforts are constantly being tripped up by infuriating systemic problems including organizational inefficiency, duplication, bureaucratic turf wars and lack of communication. These defects are only partly rooted in the unfortunate era embodied by the now-disgraced Porter. We shouldn’t be slapping the minister of health around to avoid tackling Porter’s thorny internal-management legacy head-on.
The MUHC needs an integrated, patient-centred approach that fosters continuity of care. Leading healthcare systems are taking full advantage of available technology, techniques and tactics. Ours is most definitely not.
A modern system prevents or minimizes hospital stays. It delivers appropriate services as close to the front lines as possible. It allows and motivates staff to do better what they do best. It heals, not hinders. It encourages, not impedes. It also saves taxpayer dollars. Instead, the MUHC status quo argues that coordination with the rest of the network is an imposition. They are way off base, taking the outdated, self-centred approach that hospitals are the centre of the network. The MUHC leadership needs to get its act together and accept that it must work with our other institutions.
The MUHC is an institution that literally for each of us—not just in the Montreal region but for the English-speaking community across the province—may well one day mean the difference between our life and our death.
So let’s get on with the job. We can and must do better, for all in the system now and for all our generations to come.
James Shea is president and Geoffrey Chambers is vice-president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, which brings together 53 English-language community organizations across Quebec.
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