Quebec was warned early that a catastrophe was coming in the CHSLDs, emails show

The Health Ministry received an email saying “Quebec is heading for a catastrophe in the CHSLD” 10 days before the Herron disaster was revealed.

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QUEBEC – The Legault government was warned as early as mid-March 2020, even before the disaster at Résidence Herron came to light, that a “catastrophe” was looming in its CHSLDs.

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Despite the government’s position that it did the best it could with the information in hand, the directors of several establishments raised the alarm on everything from shortages of personal protective equipment to labor problems, but the message never got through. the top, internal emails were posted as part. of the coroner’s investigation into the CHSLD deaths reveal.

The emails were sent to top bureaucrats in the Ministry of Health. Radio-Canada reported on its content on Tuesday.

They also remind the ministry of previous reports on the sorry state of CHSLDs drawn up by the Quebec ombudsman, who had been warning Quebec for years that there was a problem with the system.

The emails reveal that the CHSLDs were desperately short of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the same time that Prime Minister François Legault assured everyone that the inventory was fine.

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Already on March 16, 2020, four days after the ministry alerted 59 CHSLD to prepare for the arrival of COVID-19 and told them that the regional health agencies would provide them with the EPP, Annick Lavoie, director of the Association des établissements privé on behalf of the CHSLD, they told the deputy minister responsible for the elderly, Natalie Rosebush, that nothing came.

On March 19, Lavoie sent another alert, this time to the minister responsible for the elderly, Marguerite Blais. Lavoie wrote that the EPP situation was “precarious and critical.”

“Certain contacted CISS and CIUSS refuse to provide,” Lavoie wrote, urging the ministry to help CHSLDs “avoid the worst.”

“It goes without saying that the arrival of a COVID-19 case in a CHSLD would be a catastrophic situation,” Lavoie wrote.

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But the virus was already spreading. In her final November report on the government’s handling of the pandemic in CHSLDs, Quebec ombudsman Marie Rinfret concluded that of the 5,634 COVID-19 deaths reported in Quebec as of June 30, 2020, 69 percent (3,894) were in CHSLD.

Lavoie also warned the ministry of an impending staffing crisis and said they had been turning to regional health authorities for help, without success.

“I believe that swift action must be taken as Quebec is heading for a catastrophe in the CHSLDs,” Lavoie wrote to the ministry on April 1, 2020, 10 days before the Montreal Gazette revealed the Herron disaster.

On Tuesday, the three opposition parties in the National Assembly seized upon the Radio Canada report as another reason for Quebec to carry out a full and independent investigation into the pandemic.

“With each disclosure in the media, we learn that the government did not tell us the whole story,” Parti Québécois parliamentary leader Joël Arseneau told reporters in the legislature.

“The emails show that the government knew a catastrophe was in the works. Why didn’t the government act? That’s the question everyone is asking. “

“The least we can say is that François Legault has a conflictual relationship with the facts and the search for the truth,” added liberal leader Dominique Anglade.

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Later Tuesday, the three opposition parties plan to come together to call for a public inquiry into the pandemic.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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