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  • The Low Down

Health care reform on right track

Premier Legault’s proposed health care reform is a cause for optimism. The plan addresses several major failures. The only note for caution is that though Health Minister Dubé has stated that decentralization will be a major component of the plan, the government must be held to that with decision-making responsibilities devolving to local health agencies and hospitals.

But Dubé seems serious about what the government has termed an ”historic” reform.

He’s not approaching the funding of the plan incrementally. That always fails. As former President of the Treasury Board, he and the Premier got the Board to free up some $8.5 billion to help achieve the realization of the solutions they propose.

The plan is 80 pages long with some 50 measures, but there are several that are critical and the success of the reform will be judged by their success.

The plan promises to limit ER wait times to no more than 90 minutes. It proposes to do this by setting up “command posts” in every hospital that will connect ERs with all departments in the hospitals and immediately have information flow and availability of beds, doctors, and nurses in every department. What patient can be seen, by whom and when can tests be done, results obtained and the patient admitted if necessary.

This “command post” model exists in the CIUSS West-End at the Jewish General Hospital. It works.

The JGH has achieved the goal of 90 minute wait time. The essence of its success is that the structure was developed from within.