The healthcare professionals at the Hôpital du Suroît are denouncing the seriousness of the situation. “What is happening is terrible. We are faced with the sad demonstration that the administration at the CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest is no longer able to guarantee the safe care the population is entitled to expect. The staff shortage in Emergency is more than alarming,” said Vanessa Léger, Interim President of the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de la Montérégie-Ouest.
Citing the danger for the population, the healthcare professionals refused to work the night of September 9 to 10 as well as yesterday evening. “When healthcare professionals refuse to start their shift, it is not on a whim, but because they fear for their safety and especially that of their patients. We are talking about an occupation rate of 172% in Emergency when half the staff is on duty at the beginning of the shift.
During the night of September 10 to 11, only 6 nurses were on duty for the night shift to care for 46 patients, in addition to admitting all new patients, ambulances and responding to all the emergency situations occurring in the hospital. Despite the major risks for the population, no one was able to correct the situation. Vanessa Léger questions the CISSSMO’s administration and Ministry of Health’s accountability concerning the safety of the care.
The Administrative Labour Tribunal (TAT) refuses to intervene
In an oral decision rendered a little after midnight, the Administrative Labour Tribunal (TAT) refused to intervene as a matter of urgency because there is no legal foundation under the Labour Code. “The tribunal decided to do nothing. It can intervene against the union and its members, but not against an employer despite an urgent situation that threatens the health and safety of patients,” added Vanessa Léger.
The Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de la Montérégie-Ouest is now evaluating all possible recourses.
Time to “crack down”
On the eve of a second wave of the pandemic, it is clear once again, the healthcare professionals have been sacrificed. For a long time, the systematic use of mandatory overtime combined with unstable schedules and mobility has been the lot of the healthcare professionals. The pandemic only made the situation worse.
Several solutions were proposed, such as setting up a joint committee to turn the situation around, several incentives and creation of positions adapted to the reality of the occupation rate. “The healthcare professionals have solutions. Concrete incentives have to be put in place immediately to get out of this major crisis raging at the Hôpital du Suroît. The Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de la Montérégie-Ouest believes the situation is extremely critical and is urgently demanding incentives” concluded the president.