Emergencies stormed


After weeks of calm, Quebec's emergencies are stormed by the sick, while their staff are exhausted by a harsh spring.

PhilippeTeisceira-Lessard Philippe Teisceira-Lessard

La Presse

Thousands of Quebecers did not dare to approach a hospital when the pandemic was in full swing, reducing attendance by almost half, on average, from mid-March until the end of the year. 'April.

Occupancy rates have started to rise again since last month, when the news was better.

“We noticed a significant drop in March and April,” said Marie-Claude Lacasse, spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services. “Since the beginning of May, ridership has tended to increase. “

Friday afternoon, 14 Montreal emergencies had an occupancy rate equal to or greater than 100%. The situation was classified as “red” everywhere around Montreal, from Estrie to the Laurentians, passing by Laval and Montérégie.

Sit-in in Longueuil

In this latter region, the emergency rooms at Pierre-Boucher Hospital in Longueuil were in the worst situation: the occupancy rate there was 189%.

In the morning, nurses improvised a sit-in ) a little less than two hours when management wanted to impose compulsory overtime on employees about to end their night shift.

“People say enough is enough,” said Alexandre Bégin, president of the union that represents them, affiliated to the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), in a telephone interview.

The emergency departments of Pierre-Boucher hospital welcome cases of COVID – 19 since mid -March, which left little respite for its staff. “People are exhausted, holidays are partially refused, while people are exhausted,” he said. Mr. Bégin clarified that for the past few days, front line staff have seen the number of COVID cases – 19 hospitalized go back upward in hospital.

Pierre-Boucher's emergencies are “the only place where there are sit-ins from time to time, when people are too distressed ”for the CISSS de la Montérégie-Est. Hospital management has managed to find replacements to fill the shifts, but the nurses promise to start again if necessary.