The drop in the occupancy rate observed since last Saturday in Quebec emergency rooms continued on Christmas Day, according to the Index-Santé website.
This rate stood at 82% at the very start of the day Monday, but rose to 88% in the evening, depending on the number of people waiting to see a doctor and the number of patients on stretchers. It was 87% on Sunday and 96% on Saturday, after crossing the 100% threshold for several consecutive days.
It was in the Laurentides region where the occupancy rate was the highest during Christmas night, particularly at the Mont-Laurier Hospital, where it was set at 220%. However, the situation seemed to have improved during the day, while the occupancy rate at Mont-Laurier Hospital stood at 160% in the evening.
Lanaudière, Laval and Montérégie were the other regions which posted a very high occupancy rate Monday evening, while ridership fluctuated between 100% and 117%.
The worst traffic in these regions was noted at the Pierre-Le Gardeur hospitals, in Terrebonne, and Anna-Laberge, in Châteauguay.
On the other hand, in the Quebec region, the occupancy rate was only 72%. Only the Enfant-Jésus Hospital was close to the overflow threshold, at 98%.
The occupancy rate was high, but less than 100% in the Chaudière-Appalaches and Outaouais regions, as well as in Estrie and Montreal on Monday evening.
It was normal in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Capitale-Nationale, Gaspésie, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Mauricie, Center-du-Québec and Saguenay — Lac-Saint -Jeans.
Index-Santé specified on Monday that the day before, the average length of stay of people in the waiting room was a little more than four and a half hours, while the average length of stay of people waiting on a stretcher was stood at almost 16 hours.
The minister’s call
Last week, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, asked for the population’s help to relieve Quebec’s emergencies during the holiday season. He pointed out that there is a large proportion of people who consult the emergency room without having an urgent problem.
The minister invited these people to use other available options during the holidays, including family medicine or specialized nurse practitioner clinics and pharmacies that can provide professional advice. He recalled that the 811 telephone service allows you to speak to a nurse and, sometimes, to obtain an appointment.
For his part, the president of the Association of Emergency Medicine Specialists of Quebec, Dr Gilbert Boucher deplored the fact that too many Quebecers presented themselves in emergency rooms without having benefited from basic care.
Faced with the sharp increase in circulation of COVID-19 and influenza viruses, the national director of public health, Dr Luc Boileau invited people to get vaccinated to slow the spread and avoid complications.