Quebec’s new health minister to trim fat off health and social services boards
"We need to look at this"
As the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services holds its annual general meeting in Kuujjuaq this week, Quebec’s new health minister, Dr. Réjean Hébert, is reviewing the mandate of the province’s health and social services boards with an eye to reducing their number.
Right now, there are 15 regional health and social services agencies in southern Quebec, along with three other health and social services boards in northern Quebec, for Nunavik, for the Cree and for the James Bay region.
“We need to look at this, there are many [boards]. There are more than the number of administrative regions and I have asked the department to reflect on the number of agencies, there are already proposals on the table and I’ll consider them,” he told reporters Sept. 26, before the weekly Wednesday meeting of Quebec’s cabinet.
“It could mean savings… we must realize that all these regional structures costing us $100 million out of a budget of $30 billion… this is not how we will find the money to change the health care system.”
Hébert said his department plans to review the role of health and social boards, although he said he doesn’t plan to abolish them, as the Coalition Avenir Québec party suggested during the recent provincial election.
“There is currently work being done in the department to better define the roles of national, regional and local level… I think that agencies are necessary to be able to adapt the health system to the situation [and] the needs of the region’s population.”