No to the closure of the Senneterre emergency room

Last week, the tight-knit community of Senneterre learned at a press conference that its emergency services center will be shutting down 16 hours a day, very soon. This decision was taken in the best tradition of the health network: from above and behind the back of the community concerned. The immediate and long-term disastrous consequences of even a partial closure of the Senneterre emergency have been very poorly assessed, and we are particularly concerned about them.

During our years of practice, we have had to perform emergency deliveries many times, often at night. In life, it is impossible to foresee everything and sometimes it happens very quickly: too fast to have time to travel 70 or 80 kilometers from home. And what about those nights when the roads were so icy that even the ambulance had to wait several hours before transferring a mother and her newborn baby to hospital?

The closure will also lead to impossible situations, where people will not be able to get to a hospital for urgent care because there is not even a taxi operating at night in Senneterre. This is not to mention the fact that with the ambulance duty schedules, there is a significant risk of ambulance stripping during the proposed hours of emergency closure.

Committed and mobilized staff

Caregivers have always responded to the pressing needs of factory workers who work 24/7, and who can have serious accidents. The emergency service is also crucial for the grandparents of our retirement homes who suffer from a lung problem in the middle of the night or for amateur hockey players who are victims of a heart attack during a game in evening. And according to our feedback from the field, local nurses are not in crisis; the feeling of belonging has a lot to do with it.

“It tears me apart to know that citizens will not be able to benefit from 24/7 medical care. It is their lives and their health that are in danger, ”told us a nurse who has worked in the emergency room for six years.

“Overtime is not compulsory with us. Personally, I do it on a voluntary basis because I love my job, I love my department head, I love my colleagues and I love the people of Senneterre, ”her colleague told us.

Take this headline: “A pregnant woman dies in an ambulance before reaching the hospital in Val-d’Or”: Will we wait to read it in the newspapers before understanding that the closure of the city’s emergency room is not only a very bad idea, but a real risk to the health of our population? Even the City of Val-d’Or admitted that it could not receive the flood of patients that such a closure implies.

Minister Dubé and Prime Minister Legault, there is still time to act before avoiding the worst. Let us maintain our services and continue to serve, day and night, all those in need of medical assistance in Senneterre.

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