Fewer beds to greet patients when new MUHC hospital open

MONTREAL – The final touches are being put in place.

When the $1.3 billion state-of-the-art MUHC hospital at the Glen site opens its doors to start receiving patients in April, it will have 500 private rooms for people needing care.

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But the total number of beds between the new location and the Montreal General Hospital will actually have 90 fewer beds under the teaching hospital umbrella.

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“I think they wasted a lot of money for nothing,” one woman told Global News as she walked out of the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

The first patient transfer to the new Glen site is scheduled for April 26 when people will be moved from the Royal Victoria Hospital.

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Hundreds more will come from the Montreal Children’s Hospital when that transfer occurs on May 24th.

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“What we hope is that overall they have better services because the wait is incredible here. We just waited three hours,” another  woman said.

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Regional hospitals such as the Lakeshore General in Pointe-Claire and the Verdun Hospital will get more beds – with 30 and 35 more beds added respectively.

But those aren’t teaching hospitals that make up the MUHC.

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Officials say the net loss of 90 MUHC beds is a direct result of the Quebec government re-organizing the entire healthcare network.

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“It’s the government planning over the last many years of reorganizing across the whole province how care is distributed,” Dr. Ewa Sidorowicz, the MUHC Director of Professional Services told Global News.

The MUHC is also struggling to keep all of its 856 physicians.

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The government has ordered a 10 per cent reduction through attrition, such as doctors retiring or deciding to quit.

“We’re still negotiating within the government in some very specific areas where we feel we should be able to maintain the number of physicians we have now and not allow for attrition to make the numbers drop,” Dr. Sidorowicz said.