Montreal doctor fights to keep Lachine gynecology clinic open

Dr. Paul Saba, president of the council of physicians at Lachine Hospital, was in court Monday morning asking for an injunction to prevent the McGill University Health Centre from closing the clinic.

Court ruling expected to come down Tuesday afternoon

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)

A Montreal doctor was in court Monday morning asking for an injunction to prevent the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) from closing the Lachine Hospital's gynecology clinic.

Dr. Paul Saba, president of the council of physicians at the hospital, has made the case that patients weren't given sufficient time to find new doctors.

About three weeks ago, the MUHC announced the clinic would close April 1. 

Saba teamed up with two other doctors and two patients in filing the injunction. A decision is expected to come down on Tuesday afternoon.

The 15-year-old gynecology clinic is a vital service for patients in the Lachine area, Saba said.

The Lachine hospital is located near the intersection of 16th Avenue and St-Antoine Street. (CBC)

The injunction request is a final effort to save the clinic, where about 700 appointments for gynecological services are made each year

"It's essential," he told CBC last month. "Especially for the women of our Lachine/Dorval area, and for the whole of Montreal island."

Decision dates back to 2014, MUHC says

Dr. Ewa Sidorowicz, director of professional services at the MUHC, said the decision to shut down the clinic is nothing new.

The decision to transfer gynecological services to the LaSalle Hospital was made in 2014, she said in an emailed statement.

She said the MUHC's senior management "worked diligently" with the health minister and local health authorities to "carefully evaluate the situation before finally adopting this solution."

Dr. Ewa Sidorowicz, McGill University Health Centre's head of professional services, says the hospital is aware of the injunction, but is pushing ahead with the plan. (CBC)

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

"The transfer of gynecology and colposcopy services to LaSalle Hospital will allow both institutions to focus on their respective missions and continue to provide the highest possible care to patients."

The gynecology services were only provided two days per month at the Lachine Hospital, Sidorowicz said, and the last clinic was offered on March 26. No further clinics are planned, she added.

"We're working with LaSalle Hospital to ensure a seamless transition and continuity of care for all patients," she said.

With files from CBC's Kate McKenna


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