MONTREAL (CITYNEWS) – Healthcare workers say it’s time to break the code of silence the Quebec healthcare system imposes on them.
There are still people being sanctioned or threatened with sanctions left and right because they have spoken publicly due to a lack of PPE or situations that they feel are dangerous for themselves, their patients, or their residents.
“People speaking out were not doing it to be petty or because we’re angry at our employers. We’re doing it because we are afraid,” said Natalie Stake-Doucet, a nurse who started practicing again after the pandemic started.
Using “#BasLesMasques” which translates to: “Down With the Masks”. Healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 are taking to social media to share their experiences, particularly in Quebec long term care homes. Inspired by the Bas les Masques campaign in France.
The idea behind the campaign is to get out information about what’s going on, on the frontlines in this battle against the virus.
Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann recently said the code of silence for healthcare workers no longer exists. Calling on frontline workers in private and public long term care facilities to denounce what they see.
“We’re happy that she said that but it would be nice if there were concrete actions to back up what she says because right now it does not appear this law of silence has stopped,” explained Stake-Doucet.
She contracted COVID-19 after working for three weeks in a long term care facility.
“I’m tired, I’m exhausted. This is not what we signed up for. We didn’t want to be sacrificial workers. We want to help but we want to be protected and we need help and resources and we don’t seem to be getting that yet.”
She is one of the people who has been using #BasLesMasques, sharing her testimonies almost daily.
“We have to be able to speak out. It’s so important and it’s the only way the information is going to get through. It’s fundamental that we be given a voice and that voice be valued.”
Stake-Doucet who is home and slowly feeling better says she’s not sure if she will go back.
“It’s brutal on moral. I’ve never seen so many people die. It’s something that is going to stay with us for a very, very long time. I don’t know what I’m going to do after this.”
The #BasLesMasques movement along with Je Me Souviendrai, are a few movements that are showing support and bring awareness to those working on the frontlines during the pandemic.