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CISSSMO closes beds, asks the public to avoid emergency rooms

The management of the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Montérégie-Ouest (CISSSMO) has closed hospital beds, and is asking the public to avoid hospital emergency rooms whenever possible over the coming weeks as it copes with severe labour shortages.

The precarious situation in the hospitals has to do with government legislation aimed at phasing out the use of private health agencies.

“As the measures set out in the Act limiting the use of personnel placement agencies and independent workers in the health and social services sector takes effect, the new agency contracts that came into force this week are more restrictive,” explained a communications representative for the CISSSMO. This led directly to a reduction in the number of agency workers available to work in CISSSMO facilities.

As a result, the CISSSMO has been forced to temporarily reorganise its service offering, particularly in hospitals, to prioritize patient care and services. At least 20 beds were closed at the Suroît hospital after activities in the temporary complex located next to the emergency department were reduced. The CISSSMO says that several intensive steps have been implemented to limit the impact on patients, and there are no imminent plans to close additional beds. However, they are monitoring the situation very closely as it evolves.

A vast campaign to hire agency employees was carried out, and nearly 100 workers have joined the public health organization, but the situation remains quite tenuous.

Ambulances being redirected

According to the CISSSMO, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, as well as neighbouring health and social service centres and university health and social service centres, have agreed to provide support during this transition period.

The CISSSMO has confirmed that it is redistributing the territories for ambulances, where vehicles carrying residents from certain municipalities will be directed to nearby hospitals to ease the pressure at the Suroît hospital and Anna Laberge Hospital in Chateauguay.

As a result, residents of Hemmingford, Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka, Sainte-Martine, Sainte-Clotilde-de-Chateauguay, Saint-Urbain-Premier, and Saint-Étienne-de-Beauharnois could temporarily be directed to the Barrie Memorial Hospital in Ormstown. Residents of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Pointe-des-Cascades, Les Cèdres, and Saint-Lazare will be sent by ambulance to the Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire.

The CISSSMO is also asking for the public’s full cooperation to ensure emergency departments are not overloaded during this period of adjustment.

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