Investigation at MUHC : The Québec Ombudsman calls for fair and rigorous oversight of the admission of foreign patients to Québec
In an intervention report released today, the Québec Ombudsman concludes that MUHC’s admission of a Kuwaiti foreign national for healthcare in December 2011 occurred outside normal channels and without government supervision. The Québec Ombudsman fears that as foreign admissions become common practice, waiting lists will be unfairly affected in a network already bursting at the seams.
"At a time when health institutions in Québec are under considerable pressure in attempting to meet Quebecers’ needs, it is imperative to ensure above all that healthcare network users have the best possible access to care and services within the appropriate timeframe," cautioned Ombudsperson Raymonde Saint-Germain.
The Québec Ombudsman has made nine recommendations in order to prevent the recurrence of similar lapses and to ensure decisions that are fair to all public healthcare users in Québec.
The Québec Ombudsman especially recommends that henceforth the Minister of Health and Social Services be the only person empowered to authorize the planned admission of foreign nationals for non-urgent healthcare and that he work with the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie to define health admission policy. It also calls for the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux to lay down rules for international expertise-sharing exchanges for all network institutions.