Slight relaxation of hospital visits

Although non-essential visits in general continue to be prohibited in hospitals and centers for the elderly, a slight easing was announced on Tuesday. For example, people who receive bad news in oncology can again be accompanied during their appointment.

Louise Leduc Louise Leduc

La Presse

Basically, to be able to visit a loved one, a hospitalized patient must need “significant help and support following the episode of acute health (after-effects of stroke, delirium , need for surveillance of transfers and movements, need for food aid) “.

Otherwise, visitors are only allowed “when the stay extends beyond the seven days of hospitalization”.

People in palliative care in a CHSLD can only have visitors when there is an imminent death (the day before or the same day, for example).

But in a hospital, it is different. Those who are also in palliative care can see one person at a time, with a maximum of three over a period of 24 hours.

Regarding treatments and outpatient appointments, unless you have a cognitive or physical problem (or be in pediatrics), people must present themselves alone.

One of the novelties therefore consists of the possibility of being accompanied in oncology if we are going to receive bad news. But since bad news often comes with a blood test an hour before the appointment, it will not always be easy to predict.

Lots of variation from hospital to hospital

At the weekend, La Presse told us about case of this woman in great shape still at the beginning of May, who learned that she had two dazzling inoperable cancers and for which chemotherapy was unthinkable. It was only at the hospital that she had to face this prognosis until the article was published. Since Sunday, her husband has finally been allowed to visit him one hour a day.

What about all the other patients?

The new government directive sent on Tuesday suggests that the right to visit a loved one varies greatly from one hospital to another.

In fact, it is written, each establishment “can set up a policy of visits and local support based on the epidemiological situation in the installation, as well as the specificities of their clientele and their infrastructures” .

Le D r Benoit Dubuc , a palliative care specialist, does not hide the fact that it is difficult to navigate the various directives.

In his establishment, relatives have won their case by pointing out that the hospital's instructions were in contradiction with the government's instructions.

Apparently very similar situations can however give rise to very distinct rights. Thus, illustrates the D r Dubuc, the patients who want more active palliative care despite their poor prognosis will not be entitled to visitors. But his room neighbor who has the same prognosis, but who asked not to receive any more acute care will be entitled to visits.

Le D r Dubuc says when the caregivers were able to return to the hospital, it was not very warm there, given the danger.

If the greatest caution is always required, he insists, “I have changed my mind. The return of visitors makes a big difference. The condition of some dying patients improved for some time upon arrival of visitors. “