The government has reached an agreement with its GPs to be at the forefront of their project to set up a health access desk (GAP).
With this project, included in Minister Christian Dubé’s plan for a healthcare overhaul, Quebec hopes to improve access to healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Quebecers who do not have a family doctor.
“I applaud the Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec (FMOQ)’s willingness to come up with new ideas and their openness to see access to first-line treatment differently. […] I am convinced that together we can make a difference for the benefit of the population and our healthcare system,” commented Mr. Dubé in a press release announcing the agreement.
Pending the deployment of the GAP, Quebecers waiting at the GP access window will be “progressively registered with a General Practitioner Group (GMF), with priority given to the most vulnerable patients,” the Ministry of Health said, aiming to achieve this goal by March 2023 reach.
In addition, as part of the agreement, patients who have a family doctor must have access to them within a maximum of 36 to 72 hours, depending on the urgency of their problem. “In order to encourage this change in practice, physicians must reserve part of the appointment slots for urgent needs according to best practices of adapted access,” it was specified.
For its part, the FMOQ recalled that its members will not be able to solve all the problems of access to the healthcare system on their own, especially since, according to their own statements, there are around 1,000 family doctors in the system.
“It’s time to do things differently in Quebec, particularly by sharing the collective responsibility for access to healthcare with other healthcare professionals and investing heavily in our first line of care. […] This agreement clearly seems to us to be a good step in that direction,” stressed Dr. Marc-André Amyot, President of the FMOQ.