Winter (Volume 28, Number 4)
Update from the AMRQ
By Frédéric Massicotte, PhD, MD, FRCPC
Even though former Quebec Health Minister Gaetan
Barrette’s term has ended, there remain several
laws that have greatly disrupted the healthcare system,
even if they were not fully implemented. Luckily, after
Dr. Barrette's removal in extremis from negotiations with
doctors, the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec
(FMSQ) quickly came to an acceptable agreement with the
government. Under this new climate of collaboration with
the Ministry, several committees have been set up to assess
the future of medical practice in Quebec. A pan-Canadian
study is currently being conducted among the committees
to get an actual look at the remuneration of medical specialists
in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada and to
make adjustments, if necessary. Apart from coercive laws,
the Barrette reforms also left behind a new referral process
used in specialist practice in Quebec. Therefore, any requests
for specialized care in Quebec will be made through
a form that is unique to each speciality. This referral process
has been used in rheumatology for the last few months. We
are still in the early stages, but if good collaboration with
the Ministry (and with internal medicine) continues, this
new process may be truly beneficial for patients. We will
continue to monitor this situation.
Fortunately, the Association des médecins rhumatologue du Québec (AMRQ) is holding up well! I am honoured to
be reappointed for a second term as president, and some
new names have been added to the General Council:
Dr. Guylaine Arsenault, Dr. Sophie Ligier and Dr. Lucie Roy.
Welcome! These new arrivals will replace Dr. Ariel Massetto,
Dr. Angèle Turcotte and Dr. Anne St-Pierre. I would like to
personally thank them for their dedication and exemplary
work with the General Council and in their respective
fields. Their contribution has allowed rheumatology to
boom and it has become one of the most desirable specialties
in Quebec in the past few years.
This year, the Merit Scholarship was awarded to my colleague,
Dr. Denis Choquette. His work, particularly the
creation of Rhumadata Inc. in 1999, allowed Quebec's expertise
in rheumatology to stand out at the biggest international
conferences. It is important to note that Rhumadata
Inc. is the biggest rheumatology databank in Canada. To
date, it has more than 5,000 patients and has generated
more than 200 scientific abstracts.
The latest Top 3 en rhumatologie event, which is a half-day
continuing professional development affair, was a success
once again. This activity was supervised by Dr. Anne St-Pierre
and Dr. Angèle Turcotte. Unfortunately, Dr. St-Pierre has
bowed out this year and Dr. Turcotte will do the same next
year. The rheumatology community wishes to thank them for
this activity that is greatly appreciated and beneficial to all.
They have the assurance that we will continue their work!
For the past few years already, we've maintained growing
partnerships with our French colleagues. As planned, about
thirty rheumatologists from Quebec met with French rheumatologists
in Bordeaux in April 2018 to take part in the
National Days of Rheumatology conference. Those present
can attest to the extreme generosity and exceptional welcome
that we received. We have fond (though sometimes
vague) memories of this event, and we will be sure to do the
same for them when they visit Quebec in fall 2020.
There is not enough space here to highlight the excellence
and professionalism of several outstanding colleagues. It is
this transfer of knowledge between senior and junior colleagues
that is one of the undeniable strengths of our association.
This accessibility and closeness between colleagues
is a treasure that we must protect. I am proud to be a part of
this association which I would actually call a rheumatological
family. And, we all know how important family is.
Frédéric Massicotte, PhD, MD, FRCPC
Association des médecins rhumatologues du Quebec (AMRQ)