“We no longer know where to ask for help”: 450 more beds were closed in hospitals this summer

Already the health network is slowing down due to staff shortages, with 450 more beds closing this summer to allow exhausted staff to take vacations.

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“We hope we’re wrong, but we have the impression that it will be like last summer,” says the DD Judy Morris, President of the Quebec Association of Emergency Physicians.

A total of 453 closed beds in 26 hospitals will be collected between the end of June and the beginning of September this summer The newspaper.

More than 1600 in total

This slowdown in activities is normal during the summer to allow employees to take their vacations.

The lack of beds on the floors puts pressure on the emergency room, which has more difficulty transferring patients. However, traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but hospitals are understaffed.

That drop in performance comes on top of the 1,170 beds already closed this year due to staff shortages, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (MSSS). So a total of 1,623 beds, or 9% of the total, will be closed this summer.

“One of the MSSS’s priorities is to respond to the clear order to allow health workers furlough this summer. To do this, we will be revising service corridors to prioritize routing patients to the right places,” we wrote via email.

Before the pandemic, fewer than 1,000 beds were closed in the summer. And that number could go even higher as the instructions have mentioned other possible closures.

“We no longer know where to ask for help,” says the Dright Gilbert Boucher, President of the Association of Emergency Medicine Specialists of Quebec. The population needs services, but we are dysfunctional because we have so many patients.”

“Until the end of August we don’t see what will help us,” he admits.

Today, up to 14% of patients go home without seeing a doctor, more than usual (9%).

In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, where 300 nurses are missing out of 1,000 jobs, all kinds of services will be closed this summer, including home care.

“Crying Nurses”

In Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, 44 beds are closed and staff shortages are forcing nurses to work overtime in the ICU.

“We have brought nurses to tears, they can’t take it anymore,” says Mélanie Gignac, president of the Interprofessional Health Federation union.

157,000 Quebecers are now waiting for an operation. Those who require a long hospital stay could see their surgery being postponed due to bed shortages.

“It’s really impacting the entire network,” says the DD Morris. Operations always slow down [durant l’été]but there with the lack of beds […] they still have to cut. »

Some regions like Laval and Gaspésie do not close beds in summer.

facility and number

  • Laval University Hospital Center (CHUQ) 79
  • Fleurimont Hospital 48
  • University of Montreal Hospital Center 40
  • Quebec City’s Hotel-Dieu (CHUQ) 35
  • Child Jesus Hospital (CHUQ) 29
  • University Institute of Cardiology and Pulmonology of Quebec 24
  • Thetford mines 24
  • Saint Georges de Beauce 24
  • Saint Jean sur Richelieu 17
  • Montreal Neurological Institute (MUHC) 16
  • Saint-Francois-d’Assise Hospital (CHUQ) 13
  • Hotel-Dieu of Levis 13
  • Montreal General Hospital (MUHC) 12
  • Royal Victoria (MUHC) 12
  • Holy of Holies Hospital (CHUQ) 11
  • La Malbaie 9
  • Children’s Hospital Montreal (MUHC) 8th
  • Asbestos Hospital (Val-des-Sources) 7
  • Montmagny 7
  • amos 6
  • painting art 6
  • Meganter Lake 3
  • Baie Saint Paul 3
  • The room 3
  • Hotel Dieu by Sherbrooke 2
  • granny 2

A total of 453 closed beds

Last summer, 2,845 hospital beds were closed, mostly because of the pandemic.

Editor’s note These numbers predict bed closures from late June to early September. These are estimates, data could evolve based on workforce. At the time of publication, the decommissioning plan for the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and Mauricie CISSS had not yet been drawn up. The CISSS de Lanaudière refused to pass on their data to the Protocol.

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