Major health reorganization: few other options were available to the CISSS-AT

In particular, 300 nurses are missing to maintain services, while 700 are currently employed by the regional organization.

According to management, demographic curve data show that there will be more labor departures over the next few years than hiring opportunities, which suggests that the situation is not going to improve. improving.

The CISSS-AT ensures that it will implement various actions to reduce the impact on services over the next few years, i.e. increase training cohorts in collaboration with educational institutions in the region, deploy certain intensive or accelerated training and international recruitment procedures.

During a press conference held Thursday afternoon, the CISSS-AT insisted on the fact that it is important to allow employees to have vacations this summer, the last two years having been trying for the staff.

The independent labor force in decline

The detailed reorganization plan would have received the approval of the board of directors and the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

It has since been strongly contested by several elected officials who deplore the loss of services on their territory. This is particularly the case in Témiscaming, where the emergency room will be closed 12 hours a day for the entire summer period.

Employees from placement agencies have recently left, which has had a significant impact, according to the CISSS-AT.

We have a few resources who have abandoned their commitment in the last few weeks, which impacts our ability to perform the services. »

A quote from Caroline Roy, President and CEO of the CISSS-AT

“In the Témiscamingue territory, we were particularly dependent on independent labour; it is therefore not unrelated to what we see at the level of the partial closure of the emergency service, ”she explains.

It says that last summer, about 125 employment agency nurses worked for the organization, a figure that has dropped to about 95.

“We know that for certain sectors, it is particularly critical, then the smaller the teams, the more precarious it is. From the moment when, for example, in an emergency we have two nurses in place, well, two minus one, we are down to one. We can no longer maintain an emergency service,” observes Ms. Roy.

The CEO did not want to comment on whether recent government measures aimed at reducing the use of agencies have had an impact.

She also mentioned that if employees are hired in the coming weeks, it is not impossible to open the emergency room in the evening and at night this summer.

Make tough choices

In all, 26 rehabilitation beds are closed out of a total of 62, while 20 CHSLD beds are closed out of a total of more than 600.

Caroline Roy indicates that there are few options when there is a shortage of manpower. We must first identify the critical and essential services, then analyze how to distribute the workforce in place.

“We tell ourselves how we can better use these people and what other services we will have to reduce or plan a temporary break,” she specifies.

Ms. Roy points out that the other option would have been to organize groups or send patients outside the region.

“We could have said, for example, that we are going to maintain pediatric units in only two of the hospitals, then for the hospitalizations of children from the other territories, we are going to ask them to move to these hospitals that we will have maintained in consolidating the teams, it’s a choice”, she explains while specifying that this is not what was chosen.

“We have always made the choice in our region to have our services spread out, to maintain basic, local services across the population of the entire region, in all territories. It is important to maintain consolidated basic services in all territories,” adds Caroline Roy, acknowledging that she will not be immune to other service interruptions during the summer period.

Possible impact in emergencies

The CISSS-AT ensures that the waiting time to see a doctor should not be increased, but that there could sometimes be some congestion in the emergency room.

“We are going to make sure to be much more fluid and much more coordinated in the coordination of leaves to be able to allow the return home or to living environments for people who are hospitalized, precisely to make room for others who will come. . So it’s sure to be a tight summer,” notes Évelyne Grenier-Ouimette, Assistant General Manager for General and Specialized Physical Health Programs.

Back to normal in September?

Caroline Roy did not want to say whether everything could resume in September, mentioning that the situation will be reassessed at the end of the summer depending on the resources available.

“We will always be wise, we will always make sure to plan and inform you, this is the best way to act and also to adjust our service offer according to our real capacity to maintain safe and quality services. “, underlines the CEO of the CISSS-AT.

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