$2.6 million spent on hotel rooms to fight COVID

A Montreal health network organization spent $2.6 million on hotel room expenses to house workers related to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Also read: Seniors should be vaccinated by the end of summer

• Also read: Quebec will not buy Philip Morris’ stake in pharmaceutical company Medicago

Since the pandemic two years ago, the Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal Integrated University Health and Social Services Center (CIUSSS) has spent $2.6 million on hotel rooms for employees who came from outside the region or who are had to be housed in isolation.

Recently, a non-tender contract (by mutual consent) was awarded to the Hilton Midtown on Boulevard Décarie in Montreal pursuant to the electronic tender system. However, the height is not known.

No candidate

A total of 11 hotel rooms are reserved for employees for six months. These must include parking and lunch.

When asked about this, the CIUSSS replied that the rooms were rented to vaccinators or “essential staff” from vaccination clinics.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the CUSSS had also offered hotel rooms for employees whose family member was vulnerable to COVID-19 and to avoid transmission. Up to 20 rooms were rented at that time.

Although Montreal, unlike some remote regions, offers a large pool of potential candidates, the CIUSSS says it has not been able to recruit here.

“These people travel very far and cannot go back and forth. Without that help we would need nurses and we don’t have those numbers,” wrote Barry Morgan, spokesman for the CIUSSS.

However, fewer than 2,000 doses of vaccine per day have been administered in Montreal for the past week. We’re a long way from the peak of last January, when more than 22,000 Montrealers were vaccinated daily.

Note that the 11 rooms must be paid for even if no one is staying there to ensure their availability. When asked how many workers currently live there, the CUSSS did not reply. It is added that the number of rooms reserved has varied during the pandemic.

“We have endeavored not to book more rooms than necessary,” writes Mr. Morgan.

Other possible locations?

In addition, two other hotels are located in the sector targeted by the Hilton contract, which was not the subject of a tender.

On the subject, the CUSSS says that they did the research to get “the best prices” and that they were not obliged to participate in a tender because the health emergency there did not oblige them to do so. Hilton management did not call back The newspaper.

The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs replied that companies must prepare for an “important” vaccination campaign next autumn. However, there is no ministerial guideline for housing refugee workers.

Terms of Contract with the Hilton Midtown Hotel

  • Availability of 11 rooms for a minimum period of six months
  • Rooms must include a kitchenette with an oven, hob, microwave and sink
  • Parking included
  • Lunch included
  • The hotel must be within a 5km radius of Carré Décarie

Source: SEAO

Leave a Comment