(Quebec) Former Health Minister Gaétan Barrette applauds the Dubé reform “with a vengeance” and salutes the “guts” of Premier François Legault to do what Philippe Couillard had prevented him from doing for fear of the unions.

In an interview with La Presse, Gaétan Barrette repeated the “bravo” and the “hallelujah” after reading a series of measures that the government intends to implement with its bill on Health Quebec and efficiency of the network expected this week. Both the revision of the seniority rule and the new obligations imposed on medical specialists, for example. La Presse reported on it in two texts on Monday.

“I’m clapping my hands, my hands are burning!” “, he launched. “I have a Minister of Health who will continue what I started. »

“That’s the thing I couldn’t do because I had everyone against me and I had a prime minister who got shocked, […] who quit because he was afraid of actors. There, there is a Prime Minister who, for the moment, does not choke and takes the step that I did not take. »

We should not underestimate, according to him, the magnitude of the wave of criticism that is coming. “It’s going to be World War III!” And I will applaud the government for holding its own. […] François Legault has guts. The big question is simple: will François Legault, in the face of resistance, back down? »

Gaétan Barrette maintains that he was campaigning for the creation of an agency like Health Quebec, responsible for coordinating the operations of the network, when he chaired the Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec (FMSQ). As minister, he went “as far” as he could with Bill 10, which reduced the number of establishments from 182 to 34. He says he himself put forward certain measures of the Dubé reform, such as that of requiring medical specialists to avoid service failures and uncoverings in the regions, but “it was subsequently undone”. He had done so in his case under pain of sanctions.

“The ER wait time went from 8 p.m. to 12.30 p.m. when I left. For what ? Because with the agreement with the doctors, and Bill 20, they had the obligation, early in the day, to go to the emergency room for their consultations. But there was a release after I left. They come back with that, so I say bravo. »

In the government, it is argued that the upcoming bill is very different from the Barrette method, considered too punitive.

Gaétan Barrette nevertheless pleads repeatedly that many elements of the Dubé reform have been put forward by himself in recent years. “At some point, can it be seen that I’ve said it before and they’re doing it?” They do everything to make it unrelated to me, but at some point, would it just be media fair play to do it, the connection? Because it is obvious, the link, it is not even subtle. »

“There are many people at the CAQ who consulted me, but it remains in the private domain. Not about the law, but about my view of things. Obviously they recorded what I told them. But there are no surprises in this: I have been to the CAQ. Why do you think he (François Legault, editor’s note) recruited me in 2012? »

CAQ candidate, he was beaten in Terrebonne that year. He joined the liberal camp in 2014. He left politics last year.

The questioning of the primacy of seniority, “I proposed it to all the unions in 2015, and they turned me around. All the presidents of unions said to me: “yes, I agree, but you know, we have a board of directors, a general council…” Individuals told me yes, organizations told me No. That’s a nice phrase, you’ve got your clip! »

“We must break the power of the unions, which has become a dictatorial power. That’s a good deal. The unions in the health file, they are there for their interests, not for those of the patients. And I’m on the record! added the former president of the FMSQ.

Gaétan Barrette says he currently has some “criticisms” about what is currently known about the Dubé reform. “We will have to define the basket of services, fund it adequately and have an information system. And you need deliverables. The law needs to have teeth” to ensure that the goals are achieved, he said.

The FMSQ is waiting for Christian Dubé’s bill to be tabled on Wednesday or Thursday before giving interviews.