Quebec doctors set to fail government hand washing standard

Do you remember the last time you visited a doctor or nurse? How sure are you that they washed their hands before examining you?

According to Radio-Canada, depending on where you went, there's about a one-in-three or 50/50 chance they didn't.

The French broadcaster asked Quebec health institutions for their handwashing compliance rates, of the 22 that replied only one met the 70 per cent standard set by the provincial government.

The Integrated Health and Social Services Centre Laval said it saw a 20 per cent increase in one year, to now sit at 70 per cent, thanks to now weekly assessments.

In Montreal the numbers show 61 per cent of hands are washed when they should be at Sainte-Justine Hospital, 55 per cent at the Montreal Heart Institute, 44 per cent at the CHUM Super hospital and 43 per cent at Verdun Hospital.

The Radio-Canada data also shows doctors are more likely to skip the hot water and soap in between patients when compared to nurses.

Because not every institution responded to the survey it's impossible to get a provincial average.

The Quebec Health Ministry set the ideal rate for handwashing at 70 per cent for 2017-2018, with it rising to 80 per cent by 2020.