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Overflows in the emergency room: “It can be a difficult summer”, according to Minister Dubé

The alarm bell sounded on Monday by the chief medical officers in hospital emergency rooms, in a letter obtained by Radio-Canada, generated many reactions.

About sixty doctors from the Regroupement des chefs d’urgence du Québec (RCUQ) believe that the quality of care is compromised and that several potentially preventable deaths have been reported […] in recent months, due to lack of access to a stretcher and the care required by the condition.

They require the opening of hospital beds rather than their partial closure during the summer period.

For Dr. Judy Morris, emergency physician at the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal and president of the Association of Emergency Physicians of Quebec (AMUQ), it is necessary that the urgency [d’agir] be felt by everyone in the network, because there we have the impression of being the only ones to undergo it, the pressure.

The government and the ministry must put pressure on health establishments […] be responsible and accountablesays Dr. Morris.

According to the president of the AMUQ, % de leur capacité”,”text”:”on ne peut pas demander sur une base quasi régulière à des équipes de fonctionner à 150 – 200% de leur capacité”}}”>teams cannot be asked on an almost regular basis to operate at 150 to 200% of their capacityotherwise, she warns, burnouts and departures will multiply.

For his part, the Minister of Health and Social Services has not publicly expressed the same sense of urgency as the doctors.

First of all, it’s not a surprise, we know that summer is always difficult in the health network when the holidays arrive.commented Christian Dubé.

Moreover, the latter does not intend to intervene in the granting of summer holidays. It’s a commitment for the nurses, we have to give the deserved holidayssays the Minister.

Yes it can be a difficult summer, I said it, but I think we are putting things in place that will help us. »

A quote from Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services

According to available data compiled by Radio-Canada, the percentage of patients on stretchers who stay more than 24 hours in the emergency room has gone from around 17% when the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) came to power in 2018 to nearly 22% last year.

Since the beginning of the holidays in the health sector, a week ago, this rate has fluctuated between 24% and 32%.

Dr. Judy Morris is the president of the Quebec Association of Emergency Physicians.

Photo: Radio Canada

“Call the Chief Coroner”

Questioned at the entrance of a parliamentary committee, the spokesperson for Québec solidaire in terms of health, Vincent Marissal, believes that the first thing to do is call the chief coroner because doctors have been talking about preventable deaths.

Among the solutions he proposes, we must reopen the first line so that the little sores do not end up in the hospitalsays the MP. ans (…) et le ministre arrive toujours avec des solutions dans un an.”,”text”:”Malheureusement y’a rien qui a été fait là-dessus en 4ans (…) et le ministre arrive toujours avec des solutions dans un an.”}}”>Unfortunately, nothing has been done on this in four years […] and the minister always comes up with solutions in a year’s time.

For her part, the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade, is sorry for the lack of family doctors and its impact on emergency room attendance.

When the CAQ came to power, there were 400,000 people waiting for a family doctor, while today there are more than a million waiting! [Et] because the first line is not adequate, it overflows in our emergenciesshe says.

For Joël Arseneau, Leader of the Third Opposition Group and Parti Québécois Health Critic, it’s a good illustration of the fact that we are always, at the CAQ, backwards on the news and on the problems, we have no ability to anticipate.

According to the latter, if we took care of non-emergency cases in the local clinics that are the CLSCs, we would not be there.

Vincent Marissal at a press briefing.

Québec solidaire MNA Vincent Marissal.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Sylvain Roy Roussel

The MUHC supports emergency chiefs

When asked to comment, most health facilities directed us to the MSSS.

At the McGill University Health Center (MUHC), media relations advisor Annie-Claire Fournier clarified by email that we read with interest the letter signed by the heads of emergencies addressed to all the CEOs of the network and published today. The emergency room traffic over the past few weeks is indeed worrying, and we recognize that this situation has an impact on our patients and their families, on our staff and on our doctors..

We also share the position of Quebec’s emergency medical leaders indicating that the pressure must be distributed throughout the entire health care system, in order to allow emergency rooms to fulfill their primary mission, which is to provide urgent care. to patients whose condition requires it. »

A quote from Annie-Claire Fournier, spokesperson for the McGill University Health Center

At CISSS of Laval, the spokesperson Marie-Eve Despatie-Gagnon specifies by e-mail that the establishment TSO dans tout le réseau de la santé au Québec (…) que plusieurs différents projets sont en évaluation pour diminuer encore plus le recours au TSO, dont le projet d’autogestion des horaires “,”text”:”se situe parmi ceux ayant le moins recours au TSO dans tout le réseau de la santé au Québec (…) que plusieurs différents projets sont en évaluation pour diminuer encore plus le recours au TSO, dont le projet d’autogestion des horaires “}}”>is among those with the least recourse to TSO [heures supplémentaires obligatoires, NDLR] throughout the health network in Quebec […] that several different projects are being evaluated to further reduce the use of TSOincluding the self-management schedules project .

She also specifies that the Cité-de-la-Santé hospital is reassessing the relevance of keeping around fifteen stretchers which had been added to the 49 in the emergency room during the pandemic, in order to ensure safe distancing.

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