Intensive care being halted at Gatineau Hospital
Nursing shortage to blame, says local health authority
The western Quebec health authority says it will be temporarily suspending intensive care services at the Gatineau Hospital as of midnight Saturday night due to a shortage of nurses.
Patients requiring intensive care will have access to the "necessary care in other hospital settings in the region," the Centre intégré de Santé et de Services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO) said in a French-language news release late Saturday afternoon.
The decision comes after intensive care and emergency nurses held a sit-in Friday morning at the hospital to draw attention to the staff shortages.
The intensive care ward was short six nurses that day, while the ER had one fewer nurse than usual, according to Radio-Canada.
Patrick Guay, the president of the nurses' union, told Radio-Canada that without proper staffing levels, the nurses feel they cannot do their jobs safely.
CISSSO said the shortage is due to "unexpected absences" and that it would be keeping western Quebec residents updated during the closure.