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Other partners of the system

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In addition to institutional resources, the following partners contribute to the success of Québec’s health and social services mission:

General practitioners and specialists

Although general practitioners and specialists are self-employed, an overwhelming majority of these physicians work exclusively within the public system, which has always been able to form partnerships with them.

The Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) is responsible for remunerating doctors that practice in the public system. New remuneration practices were introduced in 1999, but fee-for-service payment remains the principal method of remuneration for these health professionals.

Description of medicine groups

Among the various types of practice, Family Medicine Groups (GMF), is favoured by Québec as a way of improving access to a family doctor for all citizens; and network clinics as well.

Family medicine groups

A Family Medicine Group is defined as an organization of family doctors working as a group in close collaboration with nurses and other health professionals from the public network. These groups provide frontline medical services, with or without appointments, at its clinic or in patients’ homes during weekday, weekend and holiday business hours. Registering with a family doctor who is a member of a Family Medicine Group is voluntary and free of charge.

Network Clinics

Network clinics are designed on an organizational model that promotes access to frontline medical services.

Complementary to Family Medicine Groups, network clinics provide access to a broader range of medical services that are available during longer hours of operation. As an example, setting up a direct service corridor with an integrated health and social services centre or university health and social services integrated centre improves the general practitioners' access to technical platforms and specialized care.

Community-based pharmacists

Around 70% of pharmacists work in community-based pharmacies and 33% of them have their own pharmacy. In Québec, only a pharmacist may own a pharmacy, which is a unique situation in Canada.

Community-based pharmacists ensure access to pharmaceutical services for patients that receive ambulatory health care.

The role of the pharmacist is to assess and ensure the appropriate use of medication, in order to prevent drug-related problems in particular; and prepare, store and deliver medication in order to maintain and/or restore health.

Modifications to the Pharmacy Act This link opens a new window. (in French only) (CQLR c P-10), on June 20, 2015, permits pharmacists to exercise new activities such as:

  • Extend a prescription
  • Prescribe a medication when a diagnosis is not required
  • Prescribe and interpret laboratory analysis
  • Adjust a prescription
  • Substitute a medication should there be a break in supply
  • Prescribe medication for minor  conditions in cases where diagnosis and treatment are known
  • Administer medication in order to demonstrate appropriate use

Prehospital emergency services

In addition to ambulance services, other steps have been taken to ensure the population of an efficient response to any emergency situation.

This is the case for 911 emergency service whose response is assured by the municipal or territorial emergency call centre, which in turn directs calls to the health communication centre (CCS) whenever ambulance services are needed. CSS medical emergency dispatchers determine the nature of the situation and very quickly contact ambulance services.

Ambulance service paramedics are responsible for evaluating the health status of patients, providing them with any necessary immediate care and transporting them to a hospital centre. Ambulance services in Québec are provided by private enterprises, cooperatives and Urgences-santé, which is a public sector enterprise covering the Montréal and Laval areas.

Community organizations

Subsidized community organizations are recognized by the Ministère and its institutions as independent partners of the health and social services system. Their main roles are:

  • Providing prevention, assistance and support services that include temporary lodging
  • Conducting activities aimed to promote and defend the rights and interests of individuals that use health and/or social services
  • Promoting social development, improvement of living conditions and better health for the population of Québec
  • Meeting new needs by using innovative approaches or targeting specific groups of individuals

Social economy enterprises for in-home support services

Social economy enterprises for in-home support services provide light and heavy housekeeping, wardrobe care, meal preparation, supplies and such to individuals with disabilities. The type of service is paid for in part by users based on their income, and in part by the government.

These partners also provide respite and monitoring services to family caregivers and personal assistance services for activities of daily living that require the help of a third party (washing, dressing, eating, etc.) or that relate to personal care, such as urinary and intestinal functions, measurement of vital signs and administration of medication. These services are complementary to the ones provided by the public sector.

Intermediate and family-type resources

Complementary to natural and institutional living environments, intermediate and family-type resources have their proper place within the range of Québec’s health and social services. Their individualized response to a diversity of changing needs makes it possible for the individuals to  foster and maintain social integration, participation and recovery within the community. They provide support and assistance services to individuals of all ages.

Acting in a spirit of partnership with the public institutions that ensure the professional monitoring of the individuals under their care, these resources complement the public institutional mission by providing quality health and social services to people who need them.

The main types of residential organization in intermediate resources are supervised apartments, rooming houses, shelters and group homes, while family-type resources include foster care for children and shelters for adults and the elderly.

Private residences for seniors

A new government regulation came into effect in 2013 in order to tighten up the certification process regarding private residences for seniors.

The use of the designation “private residence for seniors” is now dependant on receiving compliance certification. There are two categories of private residences, the first providing services to independent seniors and the second, providing services to semi-independent seniors. The government has established criteria and operational standards for each category in order to ensure quality of services and safety to the residents.

Updated on : November 30, 2015

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