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Overcapacity Laurentians, Que., hospitals to transfer patients to CHSLDs

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COVID-19: Overcapacity Quebec hospitals to transfer patients to CHSLDs – Jan 9, 2022

Hospitals in Quebec’s Laurentian Regional Health Authority (CISSS des Laurentides) are slammed. On Sunday afternoon all six in the area were operating above full capacity.

To relieve pressure the regional health authority, North West of Montreal, says it will move patients who no longer need to be hospitalized to long-term care facilities.

“Transfers will only concern people who have tested negative for COVID-19,” a spokesperson for CISSS des Laurentides wrote in an email to Global News. Adding, “when they arrive, they must go through a confinement period of 5-10 days.”

Parti Quebecois Health Critic Joël Arseneau said himself and his fellow MNA’s were surprised and worried when they found out about the transfers.

“We don’t want seniors to be considered our second-class citizens and we want to make sure that this is done properly if it has to be done,” he said.

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Read more: Quebec physicians order asks for harsher measures against the unvaccinated

The Parti Quebecois’s health critic is concerned mistakes from the first wave could be made again.

In March 2020 hospital patients were transferred to the province’s long-term care homes to free up beds. Shortly after, outbreaks began.

Nearly 4,000 people died in those facilities at the start of the first wave.

In provincial ombudsman Marie Rinfret’s report, she said the government’s strategy “weakened CHSLD’s by putting them in a position of overcapacity.”

“What we don’t want to happen is for the public system to shut the problem into the long care home facilities for them to be overloaded,” said Arseneau.

Critics worry the influx of patients could strain an already thin staffing situation, resulting in a lack of services.

Read more: COVID-19: Quebec reports 23 more deaths, 140 more hospitalizations for a total 2,436

Some advocates don’t agree with transferring patients, but they say if it has to be done, health measures must be followed.

“Well we should be better off and hopefully they will do that better because otherwise we will create another mess and horror and people dying for no reason,” said Patients’ Rights Advocate Paul Brunet.

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The Laurentian Regional Health Authority says it hopes to return to normal as soon as it can.

It’s currently the only area in Quebec transferring patients.

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