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.


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.