Dr. Paul Saba is sounding the alarm bell about the need to reopen the overnight Emergency Room Department 24/7 at the Lachine Hospital.
The ER has been closed overnight for all non-life threatening emergencies since Nov. 7.
Dr. Saba hopes the ER department will soon reopen to full-time status to better serve the local community.
“Reopen our emergency room and let it function 24/7,” Dr. Saba, president of the Council of Physicians, told reporters outside the main entrance of the Lachine Hospital, Thursday morning.
The hospital is suffering from a severe shortage of nurses and respiratory therapists.
The CEO of the McGill University Health Centre, Dr. Pierre Gfeller, outlined the details of the closure back in Oct. 29. But Dr. Saba blames the Quebec government.
He says Quebec lawmakers offered a $15,000 bonus to nurses at major hospitals downtown to stay on the job for one year, but the same financial benefit hasn’t been extended to heath care workers at regional facilities like Lachine.
“We believe that the government is behind this whole move. We find them directly responsible when they’ve answered the press and said we gave the same bonuses to everybody. That’s not true,” Dr. Saba said.
“All MUHC category 1 employees (nurses and respiratory therapists) are eligible for the various incentives, including the $15,000,” Annie-Claire Fournier, MUHC Media Relations Advisor, wrote in an email to Global News.
“At Lachine, only one person has committed to it thus far…The MUHC has not transferred any nurses or respiratory therapists downtown. However, it is possible that candidates working in Lachine may decide to apply for vacancies elsewhere and get the job,” said Fournier.