Quebec will have health system watchdog by the summer

Quebec's Health Minister announced Wednesday the province will have a new commissioner of health and welfare by the summer.

Created in 2005 by then-Health Minister Philippe Couillard and then abolished 11 years later by then-Premier Philippe Couillard, the commissioner acted as an independent health-care watchdog. The abrupt dismissal of the commissioner angered health professionals and the last man to hold the position, Robert Salois. 

Salois said the commissioner's office was the only fully independent watchdog of the province's health-care system, working outside the Health Ministry. Prior to the office being abolished, the commissioner released a report that found while doctors salaries doubled over a 10-year period the number of days worked and patients seen dropped over the same period.

The office was quietly revived again by the former Liberal government five months before the party lost power in the 2018 provincial election; however no steps had been made to fill the empty office.

Current Health Minister Danielle McCann said the independent watchdog will be able to observe the province's health-care network and make recommendations on how to improve the quality of service and accessibility.