MUHC has lost 12 beds in its cancer ward since November

MUHC has lost 12 beds in its cancer ward since November

A third of the beds in the oncology department at McGill University Health Center (MUHC) have been closed since last fall due to staffing shortages, raising concerns about the effects it could have on patients, CTV News has learned.

Five months ago, MUHC's oncology department had 36 beds. However, six of them closed in November, and another six last Friday.

This text is a translationArticle from the new CTV channel.

“Staff shortages that lead to bed closures impact the entire health network, and McGill University Health Center (MUHC) is no exception,” spokeswoman Bianca Ledoux-Cancela wrote in an email on Wednesday.

Losing beds for cancer patients is a troubling trend that elected officials must address immediately, says the chair of the MUHC Patient Committee.

“All departments of the hospital are affected. Closing beds for patients in every department is a big problem, and patients have every right to be very concerned about this,” Ingrid Kovic said in an interview.

“We are seeing a staffing shortage that appears to be getting worse, resulting in a gradual closing of beds, beds that are actually open, a large percentage of which, like over 15%, are occupied by patients who no longer require hospital care. But they are waiting to get a bed in a hospital setting.” More appropriate, such as a long-term care facility or rehabilitation center.The actual number of beds available for patients requiring hospital care continues to decline.

Family loss happens at a time The province is trying to lure nurses who switched to private health care into the public system.

MUHC says it will ensure patients are “treated by the appropriate teams” through other types of services, and that the center is “actively” trying to recruit doctors and staff to reopen these beds, as well as others that have been closed for years.

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According to Ms. Kovic, the province will need to show great political will to address the problem. He says creating more spaces in long-term care centers and rehabilitation centers to free up space in hospitals will ease the burden on the health network.

Health Minister Christian Dube declined to answer CTV News' questions about the closures.

Prime Minister Francois Legault did not say much when he was questioned on the matter Thursday in the National Assembly. “Before, as you save, some of us act in communication with the FIQ insurance and our open essays are more flexibilité,” at the start of the release.

According to Ms. Covic, the government must act, because this shortage has major repercussions for the entire health network.

“Emergency rooms are incredibly busy, especially by patients who are admitted to hospital and don't have a bed on the ward to go to. This affects the care provided to all the patients who come through the emergency room. And, of course, patients who are waiting for surgery and need a bed in the emergency room,” she said. Post-operative ICU or simply another bed on the wards, if those beds are not there, this leads to additional cancellations and delays.

“The government really needs to take a step back and analyze where the shortages are hurting us, and what they can do about it, because the current situation and trend are really very scary.”

– Ingrid Kovic, Chair of the Patient Committee at MUHC

Opposition parties also called on Legault's government to take measures to solve the problem.

“For those who need to receive health services, the government must act today. Now,” Marc Tanguay, interim leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, announced during a news conference.

“Due to their lack of planning and the poor working conditions of health workers, we are suffering from a labor shortage,” said Joel Arsenault, Parti Québécois spokesperson.

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Paul Brunet, a patient rights activist, says it is up to the administration to solve the shortage and not force patients to wait longer.

“Look for it. It's your job, not the patients,” he said in an interview. “We no longer accept this. Given your salary, you have an obligation to find suitable alternatives. It's your job.”

The MUHC also confirmed the closure of Montreal General Hospital's East Wing 17, which is used to treat patients with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but says only the physical space has been closed — and beds have been moved to other locations.

With information from CTV Montreal's Max Harrold.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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