Pandemic: resumption of surgeries at Pierre-Boucher Hospital

After more than a year and a half of waiting, Pauline Marchotte was finally able to undergo surgery for a hip replacement at the Pierre-Boucher Hospital in Longueuil.

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Now that COVID cases are down, more beds are available for patients who need surgery. Thus, activities have resumed in the establishment’s operating room.

Last December, during the Omicron wave, operating rooms were used at only 30% of capacity.

“Usually, we operate at 10 operating rooms. Currently, we revolve around seven operating rooms. And soon, we should increase to eight, ”says Dr. François Gobeil, head of the anesthesia department of the CISSS de la Montérégie-Est.

By the end of the year, there is hope that the 10 rooms will be accessible if the staff recruitment problem is resolved.

To function at full capacity, the Pierre-Boucher Hospital would need 10 additional nurses in the operating room.

The operating rooms of the other hospitals of the CISSS de la Montérégie-Est, in Sorel and Saint-Hyacinthe, are operating at 100%, but with a certain fragility, because there are sometimes shortages of beds. Many patients are waiting for surgery in the three hospitals.

“For the entire organization, we have 10,444 patients who are waiting for surgery right now. If we compare with the figures before the pandemic, of course, we are up about 30%, “says Khedidja Chemmem, deputy director of surgery at the CISSS de la Montérégie-Est.

It is estimated that it will take between three and four years before being able to get back on top of the waiting list.

“We always favor oncological cases, emergencies, caesarean sections and we try to keep a 30% for cases out of time for more than a year. Then in the space that remains, we do knee and hip prostheses, cataracts, bariatric surgery,” explains Dr. François Payette, head of the surgery department of the CISSS de la Montérégie-Est.


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