Montreal

Services at Lachine ER still limited but gradually picking up

Services are gradually starting to improve at the Lachine Hospital after staffing shortages forced the emergency room to close overnight in November. Starting next week, ambulances will once again be routed to the ER.

Ambulances will once again be routed to the ER but not overnight

Starting next Monday, paramedics will be able to transport patients to the emergency room at the Lachine Hospital between 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., 7 days a week.  (Radio-Canada/Google)

Services are gradually starting to improve at the Lachine Hospital in Montreal after staffing shortages forced the emergency room to close overnight in November. 

Starting next Monday, paramedics will be able to transport patients to the emergency room between 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., 7 days a week.

Between Nov. 7 and Jan. 24, the emergency room was forced to shutter its doors overnight and was only operating between 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., seven days a week.

The emergency room reopened at night on Jan. 24, but only for those arriving on foot.

In the meantime, ambulances were being redirected to the Glen site of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Montreal General Hospital. That will continue at night.

Patients requiring intensive care will also be transferred to those hospitals or the Montreal Neuro, since Lachine's ICU remains closed.

"The Lachine Hospital is experiencing a severe shortage of health care personnel, particularly nurses and respiratory therapists, and currently does not have enough staff to open this unit to provide safe patient care at all times," the MUHC wrote in a news release issued Monday night. 

"The hospital administration is working closely with the medical departments and their site managers to find solutions that would not only allow ambulance access at all times but also the reopening of the intensive care unit," the MUHC added.

"We are actively recruiting for respiratory therapists and nurses."

In a statement on Dec. 3, the MUHC said the decision to reduce services at the hospital was made with the Health Ministry.

The emergency room was originally set to fully reopen by Jan. 10, they said then. 

The council of physicians at the hospital has been pressuring the provincial government to reverse the decision to reduce services at the ER. 

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