Mayor Jean-Maurice Matte accuses the Quebec government of playing Russian roulette with the lives of 3,000 residents of the city.
Starting Monday, the emergency room in the town of Senneterre in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region will close its doors at 4 in the afternoon, a decision that has caused concern in the community and outrage on the part of local mayor Jean-Maurice Matte. .
Matte says the Quebec government is playing Russian roulette with the lives of the city’s 3,000 residents by limiting the emergency room’s hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Outside of those hours, patients should seek help in Val-d’Or in the southwest or Amos in the northwest. .
The decision to limit the hours was made by the local health authority (CISSS) for Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé told reporters last week that he supported the idea as a temporary solution until 250 nurses could be hired in the region.
Matte argues that the move is a service interruption and is concerned that ambulances will simply turn into hearses if they are diverted to Val-d’Or or Amos, 70 kilometers from Senneterre. He believes that the Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault, should overturn the decision immediately.
Last Thursday, the leader of the Parti Québécois house, Joël Arseneau, said that the reduction in service endangered the health and safety of Senneterre residents and would lead to a delay in other emergency rooms.
The local MNA and Cabinet Minister Pierre Dufour of the Avenir Québec Coalition said he had recently met with Senneterre residents and would convey his concerns to Dubé.
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