No catching up of surgeries before September in Quebec

Both doctors and nurses, all nursing staff want to take rest this summer, launched Christian Dubé earlier this week.

He claims to have a game plan [pour les chirurgies] that we will perform at the end of August or the beginning of September.

It must be said that hospitals continue to offload an average of 10 to 20% of surgeries in recent weeks.

According to the most recent data, the Outaouais, one of the regions hardest hit by the third wave, is still operating at less than 50% of its usual level.

Agreements with the private sector should, however, increase the percentage of surgeries performed during the summer.

As a spokesperson for the CISSS de l’Outaouais said, the first CMS [centre médical spécialisé] started its activities on May 6, CMS Incognito launched its own on June 1 (and) CMS 819, for ophthalmology […], will possibly do it on July 5.

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Conversely, the CISSS de Laval has been in catch-up mode for a few weeks. He resorts to the private sector for more than half of the surgeries.

Meanwhile, the waiting list for surgery is still close to 150,000 people and is undergoing a complete review by the ministry.

There is currently an ongoing exercise to purify waiting lists, that is to say that there is removal of duplicates, cases already operated or patients whose surgery is no longer relevant., wrote Marie-Louise Harvey, a spokesperson for the MSSS.

It also allows healthcare teams to do checks to assess whether patients need to be reviewed or re-prioritized., she adds.

Staff collaboration will be essential, according to Minister Dubé, in order to accelerate the pace in the fall.

We have excellent collaboration from the Federation of Specialist Physicians, which wants to resume the surgeries, but we must also have collaboration, in particular, of the nurses and then of all the staff., he emphasizes

The president of the FIQ, Nancy Bédard

Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivanoh Demers

At the Quebec Interprofessional Health Federation (FIQ), President Nancy Bédard warns network managers.

For the resumption of surgeries, catching up in September, it is important that we take into account the available staff., she says.

Given the serious shortage of healthcare professionals in the network, we were very clear with the Minister of Health and Social Services: the establishments must receive the directive that they cannot have recourse to overtime or compulsory overtime. to fill open shifts, adds Ms. Bédard.

The FIQ has nearly 76,000 members of nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists working in health establishments across Quebec.

Don’t forget about cancers

For his part, CHUM specialist Denis Soulières recently wrote an opinion letter in favor of cancer patients.

A mutation must be requested so that the health emergency passes from COVID-19 to cancer, so that the effective resources devoted to the diagnosis, treatment and vaccination against COVID-19 are redirected to patients suffering from cancer, he wrote.

Interviewed on Friday by Stéphan Bureau on the show Of course, this hematologist and oncologist added more.

COVID, we were able to curb this condition within about a year. On the other hand, it was done to the detriment of many other things, he laments, and it seems that the rest is now neglected. We don’t seem to want to talk again about what we didn’t do during that period and all the reinvestments we will have to make […] for the treatment of cancer.

Dr. Soulières also deplored the lack of statistical data on cancer in Quebec.

In orthopedics too, specialists are calling for measures to make up for the major delays. In orthopedics, severe functional impairment is as urgent as some cancers that do not progress quickly, estimates Dr. Jean-François Joncas, president of the Association des orthopédistes du Québec.

Despite the outsourcing of day surgeries to private clinics, cases that require a stay in hospitals continue to drag on due to a lack of available beds.

According to Dr. Joncas, consideration should be given to extending the operating hours of operating theaters in hospitals. We already had substantial waiting lists… so in principle, we will never catch up. It is absolutely necessary that hours of work be added somewhere to allow a catch-up.

Young people roam the streets of Montreal.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Jean-Claude Taliana

COVID-19 is fading

COVID-19-related hospitalizations have never been lower in eight months. There are just over 300 patients, after reaching a peak of 1,500 in January.

The number of healthcare workers absent for COVID-related reasons has also been steadily declining for weeks. At the beginning of June, 3,570 of them were missing, after a peak of nearly 8,000 on January 11.

Minister Dubé is due to outline the surgical recovery plan by mid-June.

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