On April 2, CUPE launched an advertising and mobilization campaign promoting public home care in Quebec. Years of cuts and privatization by the Couillard government have left home care staff exhausted and have compromised service quality and access. The Legault government announced substantial reinvestment in its first budget on March 21, but will it scatter the money among privatized and contracted-out services?
The campaign emphasizes that public sector workers provide the highest-quality service, since they have better training and oversight. Public home care workers are also fully integrated into the system, which leads to better coordination of nursing care, medical care, professional services, recordkeeping, and other aspects of care.
“Private home care means more staff turnover, less training and less coordination with the system. That is why British Columbia has brought back all home care under the public system,” said Frédéric Brisson, president of CUPE’s Conseil provincial des affaires sociales (CPAS-CUPE), representing health and social services workers.
“The choice is simple, said Brisson. “When you visit your mother or father, brother or sister, your spouse or child, who do you trust the most? Employees in the public system? Or employees subcontracted by a private company?”
The campaign highlights the vital role played by public health and social services aides (ASSS), who are the heart of home care teams. Four assistants describe the acute needs of the public, and what it takes to meet these needs, in personal stories on scfpensante.ca.
The campaign site has a sample letter supporters can send to their Member of the National Assembly.
The campaign letter delivers a clear message: health care is not a business. Patients and their needs should be put at the centre of all decisions, and staff must have the tools and support they need to do their work.
The letter calls on MNAs to choose the best path by keeping home care public and accessible. For the sake of patients and their needs, it’s time to end privatization and contracting out in home care.
Advertising will also be appearing in social media in several regions in the coming weeks.