The Laval hospital has operated on 40% of its patients in private clinics for a year, a solution that reduces waiting lists and that management wants to exploit more.

“For us, it’s really important. It’s a great solution for catching up on activities, ”said France Massé, assistant director of the professional services department at the Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) in Laval.

In 2021-2022, this CISSS conducted 6,586 day surgeries in specialized medical centers (CMS), i.e. private clinics. In total, 40% of all Laval patients operated on last year went to a CMS, rather than to the hospital’s operating room. The proportion even reached 47% in January 2022.

“The goal is to free up capacity in the hospital so that the block can serve the patients who need it the most. Our resources are limited, so we try to use all the means at our disposal, ”summarizes the Dr Ba Truc Trinh, otolaryngologist.

Capacity doubled

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated access to CMS in Quebec, while hospital operating theaters were idling. To compensate, the hospitals were able to sign agreements with the CMS, where their doctors will operate on their patients, who pay nothing.

Thanks to four agreements with this type of establishment, Laval more than doubled its operating capacity in March, going from 66% (at the hospital only) to 118% with the CMS, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Services. (MSSS).

However, regions that had no agreement (or very few) stagnated at less than 80% capacity. Result: the wait for certain surgeries is shorter in Laval (five weeks for cataracts, compared to 14 for the provincial average).

Increase access

The Laval hospital has 11 operating rooms, but management points out that there is an additional need for seven rooms. Since only day surgeries are currently permitted in CMS, management says it is working to increase access (especially in orthopedics and bariatric surgery).

“The ultimate goal is to increase our capacity to give access to more people. Five hundred patients operated on outside, that frees up 500 places internally, “says the Dr Trinh.

According to them, patients appreciate the CMS, which are more easily accessible than the hospital. These clinics are also known to be effective.

“The advantage of the CMS is that when you produce the same thing over and over again, you develop a certain expertise,” says the Dr Trinh.


Surgeries performed in the three specialized medical centers (CMS)

2021-2022: 6586

2020-2021: 4688

2019-2020: 4676

73% : Percentages of operations that were eye surgeries.

65 : Number of surgeons who operate in CMS

Source: CISSS Laval

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