Montreal

Minister keeps psychiatric patients in hospitals

Posted: May 07, 2003

Quebec's health minister has put a freeze on programs that move psychiatric patients into community settings.

Phillipe Couillard made the announcement after police launched an investigation into the treatment of patient at Quebec City's Robert-Giffard Hospital.

Couillard had praise for the nurses who spoke up about the patient locked in isolation laying in his own waste six days.

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The minister says he'll let police finish their investigation of the incident before he comments any further.

But Couillard has ordered a reassessment of all patients in the province's psychiatric hospitals.

In the meantime, he has put a freeze on moving psychiatric patients into a community setting.

"Everyone will be sitting around the table examining cases one by one to make a recommendation," Couillard says.

Couillard says he has visited psychiatric patients who have been moved into the community, and he says they have a better quality of life.

However, he says after what is alleged to have happened at the Robert-Giffard hospital, he wants to ensure each patient gets a proper evaluation to ensure that quality of life and dignity are the guiding principles in their treatment.