May 17, 2017 10:01 am

MUHC concerned about patient care if budget cuts continue

WATCH ABOVE: Rumors are surfacing that Quebec’s health minister may be considering merging the MUHC board with several other institutions. Global's Howard Cohen reports.

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Talks of centralizing health services in Quebec have followed budget cuts of more than $120 million in the past five years.

More than 200 positions have been eliminated and over 100 hospital beds lost in the cuts.

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At a meeting at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Tuesday, questions were raised to executive director Martine Alfonso about the board’s position on a potential merger with other hospital boards.

The questions are in response to rumours that Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette may be pushing for a “conglomerate” that would govern the MUHC as well as several other health institutions.

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Pierre Hurteau, co-chair of the MUHC Patients’ Committee, told Global News that centralization efforts in recent years have deprived patients of the voice they deserve.

MUHC employee Dominic Nelson told Global News he is concerned about any effort that seeks to group hospitals together, saying “bigger is not always better.”

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Despite this, Alfonso insisted that “in terms of the structure, we will leave that to the minister” and added that “we are focusing on patient care.”

During the question period, a member of the public pushed the MUHC to do more to improve wheelchair access from Metro stations to the hospital.

The board said it will respond to the query in the coming months.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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