Montreal's Hôtel-Dieu hospital ER should stay open, coalition says
Group says new report on ER wait times in Quebec proves need for keeping Hôtel-Dieu open
A coalition that's hoping to prevent the closing of the Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Montreal's Plateau–Mont-Royal borough says emergency wait times will only get worse if the facility closes its doors.
Amir Khadir, the Québec Solidaire MNA for Mercier and coalition member, pointed to a recent report on emergency wait times in Quebec that revealed them to be among the longest in the Western world.
"The moment it becomes clear we're having difficulty treating emergency patients, the minister of health wants to convince us to close one of our most important emergency rooms," Khadir said.
Hôtel-Dieu is to relocate to the new CHUM superhospital in downtown Montreal.
However, the new hospital will have 41 fewer emergency spaces.
Hôtel-Dieu, meanwhile, is now considered surplus.
"It's surplus only in the minds of administrators who only think in terms of spreadsheets," Khadir said.
Despite the plea, Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette is standing by the government's decision to close the hospital.
"One thing won't happen: it won't be a hospital," Barrette said, though he left the door open to the old hospital serving as one of the province's new super-clinics.
The coalition is also making the case for building social housing on the Hôtel-Dieu property.
"Everyone knows that there's a growing need for social housing on the Plateau," he said, referring to the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough where the Hôtel-Dieu is located.
"The Hôtel-Dieu is an ideal location for social housing, for housing cooperatives," said housing advocate Richard Dubois.