Slightly more than 80 beds will be closed in different departments of two university hospitals in Montreal during the holiday season.
At the Hospital of the University of Montreal (CHUM), 59 beds will be closed between December 21 and January 3 in the cardiology departments of cardiac and vascular surgery, general surgery, plastic surgery, urology, of orthopedics, nephrology and endocrinology.
In an internal letter obtained by La Presse, the director of professional services at the CHUM, Dr. Charles Bellavance, and Director of Nursing, Sylvie Dubois, write that “considering the difficult financial situation and the obligation to complete the year with a balanced budget, the decision was made to take advantage of reduced activities during the holiday season to make partial closures of beds on the wards. ”
The spokesman of the CHUM, Isabelle Lavigne confirms that these closures are partly justified by financial requirements. But she said that these departments are still operating at idle during the holidays because a small number of patients wishing to undergo surgery during this period. “No services will be cut. We will ensure constant monitoring to be sure to meet all needs. We will also be able to respond to emergencies, “she said.
At the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), 15 beds will be closed in surgery at the Montreal General Hospital and 10 beds will be closed at the Montreal Neurological Hospital.
Earlier this week, the Montreal health institutions have issued joint guidelines to remind the public prevention tips during the holiday season and what to do before going to the emergency in case of illness.
“Remember that this time of year is particularly conducive to mergers and exchanges of all kinds, which increases the number of flu and gastroenteritis in late December and early January,” according to a statement released Wednesday.
The majority of people, however, have mild symptoms that can be treated at home, say the institutions, who wish to avoid the crowds to emergencies.
Since the beginning of the year, the situation in emergency rooms is improving slowly reveal the latest data from the Ministry of Health. The average length of stay during the first seven periods of the year reached a little more than 15 hours, while it was 4:42 p.m. last year. In Montreal, the situation also seems to be improving. The average length of stay, which was 6:06 p.m. last year reached now 17h.