Montreal

Doctors, patients file injunction to keep Lachine Hospital's gynecological clinic open

MUHC management announced two weeks ago that the clinic would close on April 1, and patients would have to find a gynecologist at the hospital in LaSalle, a 15-minute drive away.

Every year, some 700 gynecological appointments are made at Lachine Hospital

The injunction request is a last-ditch effort to save the service for women who attend the clinic at Lachine Hospital, where about 700 appointments for gynecological services are made each year. (CBC)

Three doctors and two patients are seeking an injunction to stop the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) from closing the gynecology department at the Lachine Hospital.

MUHC management announced two weeks ago that the clinic would close on April 1, and patients would have to find a gynecologist at the hospital in LaSalle, a 15-minute drive away.

"It's a feeling of injustice," said Linda Goedike, a longtime patient of the Lachine clinic, who is one of the co-plaintiffs named in legal documents filed at the Montreal courthouse Wednesday.

A Quebec Superior Court justice is expected to hear the injunction request Friday.

Dr. Paul Saba, the president of the council of physicians at Lachine Hospital, says Hôpital de LaSalle does not have the resources to accommodate all the Lachine Hospital's patients.

The injunction request is a last-ditch effort to save the service for women who attend the clinic, Saba said. About 700 appointments are made every year. 

"The [Lachine Hospital] has always provided services in proximity, close to the patients," he said.

However, Saba said he believes the decision to cut gynecological services is motivated by financial reasons.

Injunction doesn't change MUHC's intentions

MUHC management said Wednesday the injunction request doesn't change its intentions to close the clinic's doors, a decision which was made in 2014.

MUHC spokesperson Gilda Salomone said in an email earlier this month that the decision is not a cost-cutting measure, and no cost savings are expected as a result.

"One of the main priorities of Lachine Hospital is to develop a comprehensive men's health program to complement the women's health program currently offered by the LaSalle hospital," she said.

Dr. Paul Saba, the head of Lachine's physicians' council, says neighbouring Hôpital de LaSalle does not have the resources to accommodate all the Lachine Hospital's patients. (CBC)

Last June, the Quebec government allocated $95 million to the Lachine Hospital to construct a new building to house functional units such as emergency, intensive care, day care, medical and surgical units and palliative care.

Work is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2020 and is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2023.

With files from Radio-Canada, Presse Canadienne and CBC's Valeria Cori-Manocchio

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