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Public dental care regime negotiations: The ACDQ will legally challenge Minister Barrette's order, but dentists will keep treating insured patients


Public dental care regime negotiations: The ACDQ will legally challenge Minister Barrette's order, but dentists will keep treating insured patients

Canada NewsWire

MONTRÉAL, Aug. 1, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ -The Association des chirurgiens dentistes du Québec (ACDQ) announced today its recommendation that its members continue to provide care to patients covered by the public dental care regime, and not yield to the provocations of Mr. Barrette who rushed his order onto dentists on July 26. The Association is nonetheless very opposed to this government gag order, which is an attack on democracy and the right to negotiate.

The ACDQ has always been interested in reaching a negotiated agreement before the dentists' non-participation came into effect at the end of August. In light of the Minister's falsehoods, it is important to set the record straight and point out that no one from the ministry is currently at the negotiating table, which is an eloquent sign of the Minister's will.

"Even if Minister Barrette muzzles dentists with his ministerial order, we maintain that the public regime is very important to the oral health of some 620,000 children and adults covered. We urge the government to negotiate in good faith in order to quickly reach an agreement. We will therefore continue to care for children under the age of 10 and people on last-resort financial assistance programs, as we have been doing for more than 40 years, even though our agreement has been expired for more than three years now," explained ACDQ President Dr. Serge Langlois. 

In addition, for the sake of defending freedom of negotiation and avoiding a dangerous precedent that could be invoked in the future, the ACDQ will challenge in court the legality of the Minister's order to suspend the withdrawal of nearly 2,000 dentists from the regime, which was to come into effect on August 25. The Association also reiterates its request to Premier Couillard to intervene and resolve the impasse his Minister has placed the negotiations in.

"By announcing the start of our withdrawal process as of July 5 and by filing the dentists' notices on July 26, we were giving ourselves nearly two months to reach an agreement. Instead of taking advantage of this to finally start negotiating in good faith, the Minister kept his confrontational attitude. It is clear that Mr. Barrette does not want to settle; he wants to win at any cost," continued Dr. Langlois. 

The Association therefore mandated its attorneys to challenge the ministerial order by which the Minister of Health denied the right to free bargaining and suspended the possibility for dentists to become non-members of the public dental care regime. An application to that effect will be filed shortly in court.

Dr. Serge Langlois reiterated his call for Premier Couillard to intervene in the matter. "We are more than willing to discuss our requests. We have prioritized, costed and argued them, but it has all been in vain up to this point. We cannot be satisfied with peremptory claims that 'this is not enough', nor will we accept backsliding and negating everything that has been accomplished over the past 20 years in negotiations with the government," concluded Dr. Langlois.

About the ACDQ
The mission of the Association des chirurgiens dentistes du Québec, which was formed in 1966 under the Professional Syndicates Act, is to study, defend and develop the professional, economic and social interests of its members. The ACDQ also strives to gain recognition for its members' expertise, contribute to their training, defend the value and importance of their services, negotiate all necessary agreements on their behalf, and support research, social action, and humanitarian activities.


SOURCE Association des chirurgiens dentistes du Québec (ACDQ)

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