March 23, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

Complete Canadian News World

From paperwork to administrative issues

Admittedly, in the digital age, individuals and organizations are faced with much less filling of tons of paperwork than they were twenty years ago. However, this leap to modernity has gained us nothing, as digitization has moved us from an era of administrative red tape to administrative complications.

We all have noticed this in our daily life, we go through much less paper than we did in the past. We fill out fewer forms, exchange fewer paper letters, pile up fewer flyers or reports of all kinds, and our work surfaces are smoother…

However, this relief is largely artificial as we have not yet succeeded in getting rid of the bureaucratic burden that burdens the lives of individuals and businesses every day due to arbitrary regulations or unnecessary red tape. Paperwork

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is reminding us of this issue again this week for the fourteenth year in a row as part of its Red Tape Awareness Week.

For a long time, paperwork topped the list of annoyances affecting the lives of small business owners in Quebec and Canada, right behind the tax burden they had to bear.

Last year, administrative burden was the second most important concern for business leaders after labor shortages. This year, inflation is poised to take over as the new drag on business growth.

But in 2022, red tape was irritating for individuals and businesses, and the CFIB aimed to harass doctors in their day-to-day work to demonstrate the gains that could be made by reducing the administrative burden on medical professionals.

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Based on a study conducted in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotian doctors spent 10.6 hours of a 53-hour week filling out various forms, including complex claims for insurance companies, and the province found that doctors wasted 38% of their time doing unnecessary administrative tasks. It can be filled by support staff or simply removed.

This freed up time will significantly increase the time spent on patient consultations, which last an average of 20 minutes.

Based on this model, 18.5 million hours of redundant administrative work can be allocated to handling 55.6 million consultations nationwide. The 22,000 Quebec doctors alone spend 11 million hours a year filling out paperwork.

By eliminating 38% of redundant administrative work, we could add 4 million patient consultations to our physicians’ balance sheets, making a significant contribution to reducing congestion in the Quebec health care system.

Canada, Heavyweight of Red Tape 2023

This year, the federal government, and Service Canada in particular, was named the 2023 heavyweight in the country’s paperwork burden for managing passports, according to a national survey conducted on behalf of the CFIB.

Photo by Sarah Mongeve-Birkett, La Presse Archives

Heavy traffic at Service Canada offices across the country has resulted in long lines of people wanting to renew their passports.

The end of containment measures that limited foreign travel due to the pandemic created a large crowd at Service Canada’s offices. As long queues of people seeking to renew their passports have sprung up across the country, the visit has been miserably managed.

According to the CFIB survey, 80% of new passport applicants experienced frustration, 33% of respondents had to make multiple trips to Service Canada, 27% had to lose a job, and 23% were forced to postpone their trip.

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Applicants had to wait an average of 68 days to get or renew their passports, a setback for more than 1 million Canadians, CFIB vice-president François Vincent underlines.

The inefficiency of the federal bureaucracy is not limited to managing passports. Radio-Canada reported Wednesday that Service Canada has been singled out for more than a year for its inability to respond to several Employment Insurance applications by the usual deadline.

We’re talking wait times of more than 50 days, compared to the usual average of 28 days, and the number of Employment Insurance claimants is at its lowest level in nearly 30 years in Canada.

We could add to the list of federal bureaucracy and include all of Canada’s administration of immigration, refugees and citizenship, from Wrexham Road to visitor visas. As my colleague André Dubuc reported today, the number of people receiving social assistance in Quebec has risen over the past year due to the average delay of 10 months for asylum seekers to receive a work permit from the federal government.

We have learned from McKinsey, a consulting and process improvement firm that is very depressing because this ineffective and inefficient bureaucracy enjoys perpetual and almost eternal oversight. Fortunately McKinsey exists, otherwise it’s hard to imagine what the truth would be like.