WATCH ABOVE: Staff shortages and long wait times are among the worries of patients who are looking to be treated in the new Montreal Children’s Hospital. Global’s Sarah Volstad reports.
A nurse, who spoke anonymously to the newspaper, called the situation “dangerous.”
“Certainly, there have been some glitches, what we would consider minor glitches,” said Dr. Harley Eisman, Director of the Children’s ER.
The article reported on staff shortages, delays, under-trained technicians and even “botched cases.”
However, Eisman maintained there has been nothing out of the ordinary and all issues are being dealt with promptly – as for personnel shortages, Eisman said the hospital has never had a higher staffing ratio.
“I feel that, as medical director, we have a motivated team and really – we’re full staffed,” Eisman told Global News.
“All my physician positions are filled as well, so we do have a robust team at this moment.”
A robust team for a robust summer.
Since operations began at the Glen Site on May 24, the Children’s has seen a busier-than-normal season.
Some days, there are over 200 patients in the ER.
“We hope soon to identify a close partner within the community, so we can say: ‘we’re busy here in the pediatric emergency caring for those critically ill, but we suggest that you go to this location, where you’ll be able to have your sore throat dealt with,” said Eisman.
The Montreal Children’s, like the other facilities at the Glen Site, is a quaternary university teaching hospital.
That means its primary goal is to provide healthcare to critically ill patients.
“You can see miracles being realized in the hospital for very sick patients afflicted with grave illnesses, but not for minor emergencies,” said patients’ rights advocate Paul Brunet.
“Unfortunately, even though we spent more than a billion bucks on that hospital, it is not oriented towards primary and secondary healthcare, neither for kids or for adults.”
Patients suffering from more minor troubles – like sprains, rashes and sunburns – are encouraged to visit community clinics or their pediatrician.