Advertising meets film in FMOQ campaign

A family doctor shortage in Quebec is putting a dramatic strain on the health system, according to the Quebec Federation of General Practitioners, which has launched a media campaign featuring a documentary on life in a hospital.

More than two million Quebecers are without a family doctor and the profession shows no sign of replenishing its ranks, says the Fédération des médecins omnipraticiens du Québec (Quebec Federation of General Practitioners). The organization wants the public to know just how difficult the job is. To that end, about $1 million was spent on media for a month-and-a-half-long awareness campaign, handled by BCP in Montreal, that includes print, TV and online ads launched yesterday. But as the FMOQ prepares to renegotiate contracts with the provincial government, many of the issues they want the public to understand are too complex to convey in traditional media, says Thomas Lecordier, associate general manager, BCP, tells MiC.

‘This is something that you need to explore in-depth and the message has to be a long one. It’s a complex issue and we don’t want to just talk about salaries,’ Lecordier explains.

The solution was to develop a documentary film, Diagnostic, about the difficulties of the practice, housed on FMOQ’s Youtube channel. All of the media drives to the film, in which five real general practitioners and some of the patients they help on a daily basis are featured. The task at hand is to educate the public about the pressures the practitioners face – for instance, the fact that they have to serve in emergency rooms, and are treated as ‘second-class citizens’ within the medical profession where specialists are better paid and respected, says Lecordier.

Those who care about the issues are asked to join the campaign’s Facebook page, where the details are further discussed. About 4,000 people have joined the group since yesterday, and the documentary has received about 20,000 views.

‘People don’t feel sorry for doctors because technically they have good salaries,’ Lecordier tells MiC. ‘The number one objective is to create that conversation. It’s going extremely well because social media is perfect for social causes.’