Comité pour un meilleur accès aux soins spécialisés (CMASS) Hôpital Charles LeMoyne

November 22, 2006 10:30 ET

The Largest Hospital of the Monteregie Region no Longer Meets the Needs of the Population: 69 Surgeries Cancelled in Two Months

LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 22, 2006) - Over 50 medical specialists from Charles LeMoyne Hospital warn that the alarming situation in their institution has reached a critical threshold and demand that concrete measures be immediately taken.

"The shortage of nursing personnel and restricted access to operating suites have created a crisis resulting in a growing number of last minute cancellations and the postponement of an increasing number of interventions. In certain cases, this can lead to tragic consequences for our patients", declared the hospital's Chief of Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Dr. Pierre Larose.

Providing an example in support of this statement, Dr. Larose noted that the number of beds reserved for neurosurgery has fallen from 20 to 13 over the past years, and this despite the fact that Charles LeMoyne is the only centre equipped to offer neurosurgical care on the South Shore of Montreal. "In this service alone, there are on average 15 to 20 patients waiting for surgery to treat spinal cord compression caused by arthrosis or a herniated disk. These patients must, at times, wait several weeks before receiving treatment, risking a deterioration of their condition that may even go as far as paralysis", he explained. In the case of orthopaedic care, wait time is presently approximately nine months. This delay is clearly unacceptable.

Serving a territory of some 1.4 million inhabitants, Charles LeMoyne is the largest hospital complex in the Monteregie region, and the only one to offer certain specialized care such as traumatology, oncology, neurosurgery, and vascular and thoracic surgery. It is also a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Sherbrooke.

In their denunciation, doctors united through the association Comite pour un meilleur acces aux soins specialises, underline the fact that two operating rooms have long been unused because of a lack of resources. "How can you explain that a regional centre that is a reference for certain subspecialities, and that is located in one of the most densely populated regions, be deprived to such an extent of an adequate number of operating rooms and of beds in recovery, in intensive care and on the floors to treat its patients", added Dr. Jacques Desnoyers, orthopaedist. "The hospital's missions are not always fulfilled due to a flagrant lack of rigour in the administration of resources. Charles LeMoyne is one of the four traumatology centres in Quebec. Despite this fact, it has occurred on several occasions, and continues to occur, that certain specialisations are not available to treat emergency cases. In the eventuality of large and sudden demand for services, caused by, for example, a drama or major accident, it could potentially be impossible for our hospital to react to the situation in a rapid and efficient manner ", continued Dr. Desnoyers.

In its sensitization campaign, the Committee also denounces the strategy of disinformation employed by authorities, which implies that the situation in Quebec is generally improving. "This is certainly not the case at Charles LeMoyne, states Dr. Larose. We demand that corrective measures be implemented urgently. We and our patients live with this unacceptable situation on a daily basis. For this reason, we intend to mobilize South Shore residents and obtain their support in order to bring access to specialized care in their hospital back to mandatory levels."

The information campaign implemented by the Committee includes, most notably, the launch of a website which allows all residents of the Monteregie region to share their point of view on the question of accessibility to specialized health care. Their comments will be forwarded to the region's deputies, to their respective caucuses and to the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the coming weeks. The address of the website is: www.soinsspecialises.ca.

About the Comite pour un meilleur acces aux soins specialises (CMASS) of Charles LeMoyne Hospital

The CMASS, or Comite pour un meilleur acces aux soins specialises, formed by medical specialists from Charles LeMoyne Hospital, includes approximately fifty doctors from four services which make use of the operating suites. These are: anaesthesiology, gyaenocology, orthopedics and surgery. This last group includes: general surgery, vascular and thoracic surgery, neurosurgery, urology, otorhinolaryngology and opthamology. The committee has recently been established to inform the public and pressure authorities in order to return access to specialized care at Charles LeMoyne to an acceptable level.

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