Sizing the Reserve Supply of Clinical Staff Time and Evaluating Idle Capacity in Hospitals

Evidence about the state of Quebec’s medical infrastructure and personnel use informs the debate over introducing privately funded medical care


The purpose of this project was to inform public debate leading to the creation of a private medical sector that would supplement the current universal healthcare system. The findings argue in favour of a dual system of medical delivery which would optimize doctors’ and nurses’ time by engaging them in private sector medical service delivery after completing a minimum 35 hour work week in the public healthcare sector. They also suggest that by increasing the total work hours completed by hospital staff through public-private partnerships and the creation of secondary private sector, the systematic underuse of Quebec’s operating rooms could be improved.

Grant Outputs

Medical Specialists in Quebec: How to unlock the reserve supply –

The Montreal Economic Institute conducted a survey among medical specialists to find out if some of them might be willing to work extra hours in the private sector, beyond their commitment to the public system. They found that the personnel resources exist to significantly improve effective delivery of medical services in Quebec by adding a supplementary private medical service, while still protecting public medical service delivery.

Measuring the Reserve Supply of Nursing Staff Time in Quebec –

The reserve supply of nurses working hours is modest, but far from negligible. The findings in this report suggest that the shortage of nurses may not be as substantial as is generally believed. According to the survey conducted, given the appropriate incentives and working environment, nurses would work more. If the public system, where a majority of these nurses work, continues to fail to provide that environment, a growing number of them will be looking for an environment that does provide it.

An Overview of Operating Room Use in Quebec Hospitals –

An investigation was conducted by the Montreal Economic Institute to get information on the use of operating rooms during the period from April 2005 to March 2006. A data collection form was sent to Quebec hospitals, covering the use of operating blocks during the day, evening and night shifts, and on weekdays and weekends. This investigation reveals that operating rooms are clearly underused.

Grant Details

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