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Lachine Hospital temporarily closes ICU during the holidays amid nursing shortage

The Lachine Hospital in Montreal on July 29, 2014.
FILE -- The Lachine Hospital in Montreal on July 29, 2014. Marc Latendresse / Global News

Lachine Hospital is closing its intensive care unit (ICU) during the holidays due to a nursing shortage.

Annie-Claire Fournier, a spokesperson for the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), said the hospital’s ICU will be closed from Friday, Dec. 20 to Jan. 6, 2020.

“A nursing shortage at Lachine Hospital during the holiday period requires a merging of emergency and intensive care services in one location,” Fournier said in a statement to Global News. “The Ministry of Health and Social Services is aware of this temporary situation.”

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According to the MUHC, two ICU beds out of the usual five will be relocated to the emergency department.

The hospital says patients requiring intensive care will be treated at the MUHC’s Glen site, the Montreal General Hospital — or if necessary other hospitals in Montreal.

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The Lachine Hospital will still be accepting patients in their emergency department during the holidays despite the ICU closure.

“The situation will be closely monitored during the whole period and patient safety and access will be ensured,” said Fournier.

Earlier this month, Health Minister Danielle McCann said around 10,000 more employees are needed in the medical sector.

— With files from Global’s Raquel Fletcher