Inspection report shows 20% of Quebec hospitals in poor condition

A recent inspection report issued by the Quebec government reveals that many of the province's hospitals and long-term care institutions are falling apart.

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette says hospitals, long-term care homes with failing grades could face demolition

Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital received a failing grade. (Radio-Canada)

A recent report issued by the Quebec government reveals that many of the province's hospitals and long-term care institutions are falling apart.

CBC's French-language service, Radio-Canada, obtained the report, which discloses that more than 20 per cent of hospital buildings are in poor or very poor condition, including some of those at Montreal's Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Sainte-Justine and Douglas hospitals.

The report shows the worst-affected buildings are at a high level of degradation and need better ongoing maintenance. Some require immediate, urgent repairs. Others need to be replaced.

Building inspections carried out by Quebec show that the percentage of buildings in a poor state is even higher for long-term care facilities, with 30 per cent in decay or degradation.

The report is based on an inspection of just one-third of Quebec's health-care institutions – the proportion that inspectors have visited to date.

Fit for wrecking ball?

Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said it's clear that some buildings will likely be demolished.

"Is it better to invest to maintain a facility or wait a couple of years and knock it down and build a new one?" Barrette asked.

Barrette said inspectors will go over the entire network by 2018.

He said the government has already planned to pump $10 billion over the next decade into health-care infrastructure, although some of that is slated to pay down debt from completed projects.

Surgeries cancelled

Montreal's Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital is among the 20 hospitals given a failing grade of E, the worst grade possible.

"We're absolutely not surprised by the grade," Martin Légaré, a pulmonologist at the hospital, told Radio-Canada.

In early April, damage to the hospital's ventilation system forced the cancellation of several operations.

"There were 17 people who were not operated on," Dr.Rafik Ghali told Radio-Canada. "It's the outcome of having an old ventilation system in the operating room."

With files from Radio-Canada's Davide Gentile