As partygoers celebrated the end of yet another year, Urgences-Santé emergency responders were out on the roads, responding to over 330 calls.
“That represents 33 per cent of our daily call volume just within six hours,” said Eddy Affram, a spokesperson for Urgences-Santé.
Affram says the service prepares for six weeks in advance of the night’s rush.
“We obviously boost our resources,” Affram said.
“We have 75 trucks rolling on the streets during the overnight, in comparison to maybe 40 to 50 for a normal overnight.”
The calls for help from Quebecers varied, but mostly involved intoxication, falls, fights and car accidents, according to Affram.
With more Quebecers heading to the emergency rooms, half of the hospitals in Montreal were operating over capacity.
According to Indexsante.ca, the city’s most overcrowded hospital was Sainte-Justine Hospital, operating at 150 per cent capacity, followed by the Jewish General and the Royal Victoria, at 142 and 136 per cent, respectively.
Urgences-Santé says it deals with hospital overcrowding by having a close relationship with the institutions.
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“We control basically a portion called quotas for hospitals and we make sure we keep it balanced in order to have hospitals being able to absorb that call volume,” Affram said.
“It’s really just a matter of being fair and balancing that quota accordingly.”
Global News tried calling Info-Santé — the province’s telephone consultation service — but was on hold for upwards of 17 minutes with no answers.
Global News also reached out to the MUHC for comment, but was told no one would be available for comment until Thursday.