MONTREAL – Quebec Health and Social Services Minister Gaétan Barrette announced Monday the creation of “super clinics” by the end of 2018, in an effort to reduce wait times in emergency rooms (ER).
Barrette said there are currently too many doctors concentrated in hospital ERs and wants to spread them out.
“Doctors who are practicing today in ERs might see the light,” Barrette said.
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“The light for them will be to go in those super clinics and offer the same type of services, but closer to home and outside hospitals.”
The clinics will stay open 12 hours per day year-round, including holidays.
“[The] super clinics will not be scattered across the province at will,” Barrette said at a press conference.
“[They] will be designated on a geographical basis…in order to have a designation, you have to be situated in an area where you have a ratio of roughly one to 50,000 people.”
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The aim for the super clinics will be to treat a minimum of 20,000 patients per year.
For doctors who want to open a super clinic, they will have to meet certain criteria.
“You have to offer a certain number of walk-in appointments, depending on the level of those super clinics, [the walk-ins] will be numbered from 20,000 a year to 60,000-plus a year,” said Barrette.
“You have to provide appropriate space for blood sampling, basic radiology and ultrasound. If a group of doctors want to do more, they can do more.”
Depending on the size of the super clinic, the provincial government will provide anywhere between $82,000 to $232,000 annually, with the equivalent of 12 full-time personnel.
No additional money will be offered to doctors for practicing at a super clinic.
The minister said the province has enough doctors to pull off the project.
“We are not asking every doctor to be available 12 hours [a day],” Barrette said.
“We are asking a group of doctors to be available.”