The Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, must provide an update Tuesday afternoon on the situation in Quebec’s emergencies in view of the holiday period. The average occupancy rate on stretchers was around 130% in Quebec hospitals Tuesday morning, according to Index Santé. Several hospitals, particularly in Lanaudière and the Laurentians, had a rate of more than 200%.
“As the holidays approach, the pressure is high on our emergencies. I will take stock […] on the importance of good practices,” Mr. Dubé wrote on the X platform on Monday evening. The minister indicates on the social network that he has discussed the subject with the CEOs of health establishments.
I was able to speak in person with our CEOs. Together, we must establish a culture of results for patients, this is the objective of the #PL15. Reducing waiting times is essential, which is why I asked them to go to the field, to the emergency room.https://t.co/uMIPdyPGzm
— Christian Dubé (@cdube_sante) December 19, 2023
The Regroupement des chefs d’urgence du Québec sent a letter to the Minister of Health on December 15 to inform him that the situation in emergencies has “become out of control”. In the missive, including The duty was able to take note, its president, the DD Marie-Maud Couture denounces “the inertia” which remains “palpable at all decision-making levels” in the face of this crisis which “is only getting worse”.
“While all ministerial attention was focused on Bill 15 and the reorganization of the health system, the network has completely frozen, and everything is based on the exceptional dedication of the professionals who have still cares about the quality of care,” she writes.
According to the DD Couture, “very little effort has been made to remedy the root cause of the congestion, namely the use of emergency stretchers by hospitalized patients.” Many patients are stuck in emergency rooms due to lack of space on the floors. Hospitalization beds are occupied by users who no longer require acute care and who are waiting for a place in a CHSLD or rehabilitation center, among others.
The Dr Gilbert Boucher, president of the Association of Emergency Medicine Specialists, will accompany the minister during the press briefing. He is part of the crisis unit, created last fall and recently reactivated.
The flu is spreading
This media release comes as influenza is spreading in the province. The positivity rate for the flu virus reached approximately 11% during the week ending December 16, according to the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ). It was 7.3% the previous week and 3.9% the week before that.
A week ago, the national director of public health of Quebec, Dr Luc Boileau said he feared a surge in influenza cases, as is the case in Alberta. He invited people aged 70 and over to get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19.
Vaccination will also be on the agenda for Tuesday’s press briefing. Mr. Dubé and Dr. Boileau will provide an update on participation in the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 and the flu.