Quebec invests $20M to reopen 18 dormant operating rooms

The new money to open mothballed operating theatres is part of a recently announced $300-million reinvestment in health care which the minister said has been made possible through savings from health care reorganization.

Financing for ORs will translate into 22,444 more surgeries annually, Health Ministry says

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette announced the reopening of 18 operating rooms across the province, with a $20-million investment. (CBC)

The Quebec government is investing $20 million to permit hospitals to open 18 dormant operating rooms across the province.

It's part of a $300 million reinvestment in the health system that was first announced in the last provincial budget update.

Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said the new, recurrent financing was made possible by savings from the reorganization of the health care system.

The 18 operating rooms are all existing, equipped rooms that weren't being used because of a lack of money to keep them going.

3,100 more operations at MUHC

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), which Barrette has criticized for going over budget, will get funding to operate 2.5 additional ORs: one at the Montreal General, one for adult surgeries at the Glen site and 0.5 for pediatric surgeries.  That works out to 3,100 more surgeries annually. 

However, Barrette says he wants to see a commitment from the MUHC to balance its budget.

"It means it's reflection time at the MUHC," said Barrette, without specifying what exact conditions hospitals would need to meet in order to receive the OR funding.

The financing works out to approximately $1.2 million per OR annually.

The 18 operating rooms include:

  • 3 ORs at the Jewish General Hospital.
  • 2.5 ORs at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC):
    • 1 at the Glen site.
    • .5 at the Montreal Children's, at the Glen site.
    • 1 at the Montreal General Hospital.
  • 2 ORs at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.
  • 2 ORs at Sainte-Justine Children's Hospital.
  • 3 ORs at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM):
    • 2 at Hôpital Notre-Dame.
    • 1 at Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal.
  • 1 each at Santa-Cabrini Hospital, Hôpital Fleurimont (CHUS), Hôpital Saint-François d'Assise (CHUL).
  • 2 ORs at  Hôpital de Gatineau.
  • .6 at Centre hospitalier régional De Lanaudière.

The Health Ministry predicts the additional operating rooms will allow hospitals to perform an additional 22,444 surgeries annually.