EXCLUSIVE: Senior claims she was yelled at for requesting English services at Verdun Hospital

WATCH ABOVE: A 73-year-old woman says she was yelled at when she asked a Verdun Hospital staff member to speak to her in English - and it isn't the first time such an incident has been reported. Global's Felicia Parrillo reports.

VERDUN – Harriet Coveyduck, 73, was admitted to Verdun Hospital last week with the flu.

The Pointe-Saint-Charles resident has chronic emphysema and had to be quarantined.

Coveyduck’s daughter, Lorie Martin, said things started going downhill when an argument started over language.

“My mum turned over and told me that she was yelled at because she asked for help in English,” said Martin.

“She said she was told if she doesn’t speak French, she wasn’t going to be served.”

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Although Martin herself is fully bilingual, her mother is an Irish native and only speaks English.

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Harriet Coveyduck, 73, was admitted to Verdun Hospital with the flu.
Harriet Coveyduck, 73, was admitted to Verdun Hospital with the flu. Lorie Martin

Martin said she approached a coordinator, told her what happened and demanded that her mother be served in her native language.

“She looked me in my face and laughed and said this is a French hospital, good luck with that,” said Martin.

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This isn’t the first time Verdun Hospital has been tied up in language controversy.

Last September, a West Island man claimed nurses responded rudely to him after he asked to be spoken to in English.

READ MORE: Language debate takes places in corridors of Verdun Hospital

Patients’ rights advocate, Paul Brunet, insisted someone at the hospital needs to wake up.

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“It’s probably the third time for the past two or three years that I’ve done this same interview, on the same subject, on the same hospital,” he said.

“Is anyone listening?”

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Brunet said legally, in short-term hospital units, all Quebecers are entitled to services in both English and French.

“Everybody should be making an effort,” said Martin.

“Not just for English, not just for French, but for a bilingual Montreal.”

In a statement to Global News, the hospital said it wouldn’t comment on the case specifically, adding it only provides services in English when asked.

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