March 2, 2022

Lachine Hospital ER to continue operating at reduced hours due to COVID-19, sick staff |

The return to normal operating hours for the emergency department at the Lachine Hospital scheduled for Monday is being postponed until further notice as the fifth wave of COVID-19 continues to surge.

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), which oversees hospital operations, said in a news release Friday that it was a “difficult but necessary decision.”

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Health authorities cited hospital outbreaks and staff shortages due to illness for its decision. Provincewide, more than 20,000 health workers are off the job because of COVID-19, according to the health ministry.

“We need to ensure that the outbreaks are over and that our workers at the Lachine Hospital are well enough to provide quality care and a safe environment for patients and employees,” said Dr. Pierre Gfeller, MUHC president and executive director, in a release.

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The Lachine Hospital first reduced its emergency room hours on Nov. 7, remaining open seven days a week but only from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Ambulances were also being diverted to other hospitals.

At the time, the MUHC said it was dealing with a critical shortage of nurses and respiratory therapists — an issue that still persists.

The MUHC, however, said it is taking the necessary steps to fill the void.

“The MUHC, in collaboration with the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and other Montreal establishments, continues its work to ensure full access to the health services required by the population of Lachine and the surrounding area as quickly as possible,” wrote MUHC spokesperson Gilda Salomone.

“In that sense, we continue our recruitment campaigns in nursing and respiratory therapy.”

Though hours have been cut back, walk-in patients can continue going to the Lachine Hospital ER from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., seven days a week.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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