For this period, there were a total of 482 service breaks, indicates the Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) of the North Shore.
The company Paraxion, which serves a good part of the North Shore between Les Escoumins and Natashquan, affirms that these breaks in service are mainly explained by the lack of personnel.
There was also COVID-19, which got into us a lot. There were a lot of sick people, we had to take them out for X number of daysreports Manuel Charest, acting director of operations for the Côte-Nord sector at Paraxion.
” It is alarming. [La région est] constantly at risk of service disruption. »
A situation that the vice-president of labor relations of the Federation of pre-hospital employees of Quebec (FPHQ), Jérémie Landry, considers critical.
What we are asking for is that the labor shortage be reduced in eastern Quebec, especially on the North Shore. The number of hours is really concerninghe puts forward.
Jérémie Landry maintains that it is difficult to recruit manpower, but that it is above all the retention of personnel that represents a major challenge to overcome.
The vice-president says that the paramedics are exhausted, that they work several overtime hours and that their leave requests are often denied. He adds that lately, even ambulance technicians, who have been in the job for decades, are choosing to leave the profession.
” For the next year, we think that the situation will be even worse. We still had resignations and departures to other regions. »
For his part, Manuel Charest, of Paraxion, estimates that the month of July should be much better in terms of ambulance coverage than the month of June, since new employees are expected to start their jobs.
Hundreds of miles to go for an emergency call
According to FPHQthere would be a shortage of between thirty and forty paramedics on the North Shore, which means that the territories to be covered can sometimes be very large for the paramedics.
For example, if the ambulance [n’est pas en service] in Baie-Trinité, as we have seen recently, it is either paramedics from Baie-Comeau or Port-Cartier who [doivent se] move, but it’s hundreds of kilometres. These hundreds of kilometers are long. It is the patient who suffers from the consequences of the response timelaments Jérémie Landry.
Currently, the Paraxion company is trying to bring in people from outside the region, by attracting them among other things with bonuses. Paraxion also fills shifts with private employment agencies.
We have regular meetings with the managers of the ambulance company concerned. Concrete measures and action plans are required from the ambulance company concerned to remedy this situation.indicates for its part the CISSS of the North Shore by email.
The hope of attracting more ambulance personnel to the region is also turned towards the Cégep de Baie-Comeau. The first cohort of the emergency pre-hospital program will complete its schooling next year.
The program also became permanent earlier this month.
For the Federation of Pre-Hospital Employees of Quebec, the solution must also go through the conversation of shift schedules to hourly schedules on the North Shore. The Minister of Health has granted this conversion in several cities in Eastern Quebec, but not on the North Shore defends Jérémie Landry.