Barrette shrugs off mass resignations

Photo Canadian Press

Health Minister Gaetan Barrette responded to the mass resignation of six regional health directors in the past few days. He called the move a publicity stunt.

Barrette didn't seem overly concerned that he is now down six senior civil servants.

He said they can be replaced in about a month.

The six resigned over contractual issues that stipulates they can't practice medicine while serving as regional health directors.

Barrette says their contracts were very clear.

"They are supposed to work full-time exclusively in their position and they are not allowed to do anything else," he said. "And that's not something specific to them. That's specific to each and every one holding a position that is determined by the Health Minister or any other minister in the public system."

He added the directors knew what kind of remuneration they could expect when they took the job.

"When you choose regular practice, you are compensated in a certain way, and when you choose to become a civil servant you are paid by the civil servant regulations," he said. "That's the way it is."

Barrette says that being a civil servant is a full time job and that they are no longer autonomous workers, as physicians are.

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