A western Quebec health agency says the Parti Québécois is ignoring their request to meet about expanding a local hospital’s waiting room that sometimes reaches 300 per cent capacity.
Michel Lafrenière of the Centre de santé et des services sociaux (CSSS) des Collines said about 40 per cent of their 24,000 emergency room visits at the Wakefield Memorial Hospital come from Gatineau because of long waits there.
“Right now it's more like a third-world country than what people are entitled (to),” he said.
“You will see people sitting in corridors and waiting to be assessed.”
The Wakefield hospital has four emergency room spots and was built for around 14,000 emergency room visits a year.
A news release issued Saturday by the CSSS des Collines said they sometimes have 12 to 16 emergency patients on their hands, which requires a nurse go with them to another hospital.
They said the Gatineau and Hull hospitals are facing issues of their own, sometimes reaching 200 per cent capacity, and the overflow comes to them.
PQ says agency needs to talk to health minister
Lafrenière said a hospital expansion business plan had been accepted by Quebec’s Liberal government after a campaign lasting since 2007.
He said that plan has been put on hold since the Parti Québécois came into power in September 2012.
Gilles Aubé, the Parti Québécois candidate for the hospital’s riding of Hull, said the Wakefield Health Agency needs to sit down with the provincial health minister.
Lafrenière said he’s been trying to make that happen for two years.
“We’re being ignored,” he said.
In the meantime, the CSSS des Collines said the population has increased 15 per cent in their jurisdiction over the last five years, the most growth in the province, and their budget has been cut by an average of $200,000 a year over the last three years.
Quebec heads to the polls on April 7.