Front line access counter (GAP) | Half of registered patients did not have an appointment

(Quebec) A red light lit up on the Quebec dashboard concerning its Front Line Access Center (GAP) created in 2022. Half of the patients registered with a group of family doctors (GMF) thanks to to this tool have not obtained a medical appointment in the last two years, La Presse learned from a government source.

The Minister of Health Christian Dubé angered the Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec (FMOQ) by announcing the elimination of an annual bonus of $120 paid for each patient registered with a GMF through its new window , the GAP. This premium represents an annual bill of more than $100 million.

It will no longer be paid as of May 31, the date on which an agreement concluded with the FMOQ in 2022 ends when the GAP was created by Christian Dubé.

Why is he turning off the tap while he negotiates a new agreement with the FMOQ?

It is true that the government has been pleased for months that its GAP has enabled many Quebecers since 2022 to be registered with a GMF (and not with a family doctor). This is the case for 910,000 people to date. But over time, he found that a registered patient is not necessarily a monitored patient. Let’s use an image: Mr. Tremblay may be on the GMF’s patient list, but he does not always manage to enter a doctor’s office.

Quebec managed to obtain information demonstrating the access problem. However, one in two patients among the 910,000 registered with a GMF has seen one of the doctors in their group in the last two years. This data lit a red light on his dashboard.

The agreement with the FMOQ provides that the GMF must offer the equivalent of one appointment slot per year for each registered patient.

However, the government does not yet have a complete diagnosis of the situation. He must obtain additional data soon thanks to a law he passed in 2022 (Bill 11). Regulations to implement this law and force doctors to provide information about their schedules will be adopted soon.

Christian Dubé particularly wants to check whether doctors have made themselves available to their patients registered thanks to the GAP. For example: are appointment slots only open at the last minute at the end of the day to respect the terms of the agreement, even if it means that no patient is actually seen?

For its part, the FMOQ maintains that the end of the premium risks reducing access to care and compromising the proper functioning of the GAP.

During a press scrum in parliament on Thursday, Christian Dubé assured that “GAP is here to stay”. But “there will not be more money if there is not more access,” he warned.

He therefore asks doctors to “do their part and respect the agreement” by May 31. “The dollars have been donated. But have the additional appointments been made? That’s what I want to check,” he said. According to him, it was understood that the agreement linked to the GAP would be renegotiated as part of the talks on the renewal of the overall agreement with the FMOQ on the remuneration of their members.

The issue came up again at the Salon, during the question period. “The GAP is going out the window! » launched the interim leader of the Liberal Party, Marc Tanguay. According to him, the end of the bonus amounts to calling into question the financing of this window. “It’s a cut in health”, a failure to respect commitment on the part of the Prime Minister, according to him.

“We want to continue using the GAP, so there is no question of cutting,” replied François Legault. We are in negotiations with the FMOQ to pursue this agreement. »

Opposition reactions

We are a month away from the fateful date where there are 900,000 Quebecers who could lose their access, then the minister tells us: No, no, don’t worry, it will be fine. That’s Christian Dubé’s baby, the only option he introduced so that people have access to a family doctor, the only additional option is the GAP, that’s the one he put in place. on the table.

The spokesperson for the Liberal Party of Quebec on health, André Fortin

The cabin is on fire, and that’s the fault of the government, it’s the fault of this minister who should have done what he committed to doing as a party, that’s- that is to say review the method of remuneration of doctors. They did not do it.

The spokesperson for Québec solidaire in matters of health, Vincent Marissal

It’s vaudevilleesque to the extent that there is a system that was put in place to compensate for the CAQ’s broken promise which consisted of all Quebecers having a family doctor. The system here is not necessarily the most effective, and we do not have the data to show that there are a greater number of appointments obtained by people who have them. need.

The spokesperson for the Parti Québécois on health matters, Joël Arseneau

With the collaboration of Charles Lecavalier, The Press

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