Again the Quebec magazine L’actualitê has an interesting feature article in its April edition dealing with COVID-19 and translated it means what are the steps we can take to ensure we don’t have a year like 2020?
The first step is to reinforce public health.
In 2015 Quebec cut the health budget by 30%. And it even reached 40% in certain regions.
Jean Rochon, a former Quebec Minister of Health formed an Association For Quebec Public Health (ASPQ) which had a plan for an enhanced public health system in Quebec. It is Rochon’s current position not to point or direct guilt but to try and improve the public health system. Public health is larger than simply protecting the health by use of sanitary measures. It should have the goal of improving the population’s well-being such as for example anti-tobacco or anti-pollution campaigns.
To be efficient public health must have the power to influence the health of the population by looking at the environment we live in, our daily habits and the social determinants of health such as education, employment income, access to food and lodging which are directly attributable to cause chronic disease, cancers or mental health issues.
Dr. Alain Poirier a firmer national director of public health is calling for a Ministry of Public health to be created in Quebec. Presently there is only a deputy minister of public health under the Ministry of Health and Social Services. It normally has little influence on the other ministries.
Rochon has called for an interministerial secretariat on public health that would report directly to the premier of Quebec which has been the approach taken in Australia.
Many public health experts say that remodelling the public health system must take into account input from the population and by doing so the public will have more confidence in the public health system.