The chances of getting a bed in any Montreal-area hospital’s emergency room are slim to none. Quebec reported that 11 hospitals were over capacity on Tuesday morning.
“There’s no more stretchers to physically put patients, which is something we’re not used to in the in the summer period,” said emergency department attending physician Dr. Laurie Robichaud.
Some examples include the Jewish General Hospital’s emergency room, which is sitting at 140 per cent capacity. The Lakeshore General Hospital at 142 per cent. The Montreal General Hospital is at 145 per cent, while the Royal Victoria sits at 164 per cent.
Dr. Robichaud told Global News that emergency rooms are bearing the brunt of patients’ medical attention being delayed, mixed in with the fourth wave.
“We kept saying how bad is going to be post-COVID — the consequence of holding the preventive medicine, the clinic, follow-up the surgeries. Well, now we’re seeing it,” she said.
The province’s nursing staff shortage is not helping matters either.
“They try their best and they give 150, 200 per cent every shift,” said FIQ spokesperson Kristina Hoare.
“But they need the staff to be able to accomplish what they want to do from a nursing standpoint and give the best care that they can.”
The staff shortage has been an ongoing problem at the Lakeshore General, it’s emergency room is currently under high surveillance.
An internal memo obtained by Global News notes that several protocol breaches have been observed, leading to multiple COVID-19 exposures. The memo states that asymptomatic patients with COVID-19 have spent hours in the emergency room, something patients’ rights advocate Paul Brunet says is incredibly risky around sick patients.
“You are not responsibly acting as a citizen,” said Brunet.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé acknowledges the current period is tough, but predicts it will improve when nurses return from vacation.
“We need to follow the measures right now because we are in a critical month because those pulmonary sickness that are coming back in September,” he told reporters at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Robichaud echoed the health minister’s sentiment.
“We’re all very apprehensive of what’s coming up in the next few months, especially now that it’s the kids are going back to school, people are going back to work,” she said.
She added medical professionals are very worried that the situation will get worse before it gets better.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.