Emergency rooms are overflowing in several hospitals across Quebec at the end of the holiday season, with the situation particularly critical in the northern and southern regions of Montreal.
According to the data available on the Health Index portal Saturday morning, the occupancy rates of stretchers reached 162 per cent in the Montérégie region, 152 per cent in the Laurentians and 184 per cent in Lanaudière.
In Laval, the Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital has reported that they are operating at 165 per cent capacity.
In Montreal, the average of the hospitals stood at 129 per cent, with a total of 49 patients waiting on a stretcher for more than 48 hours across the city. Among the highest occupancy rates are those of the Jewish General Hospital at 206 per cent; the Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire, 200 per cent; and the Douglas Institute which specializes in mental health, at 233 per cent.
In a press release published at the start of the holiday season, Montreal health and social services establishments invited the public to contact Info-Santé nurses, who can be reached at 811, rather than go immediately to the emergency room.
The period from the end of December to the beginning of January, with its many festivities, is conducive to the spread of the flu and gastroenteritis — ailments which can more often than not be treated at home.
–With files from Global News’ Alessia Maratta