Quebec will put forward eight home hospitalization projects in Greater Montreal and the Capitale-Nationale by 2024. Some of them could see the light of day this summer.

“There will be many benefits for patients who will be able to be in the company of loved ones in their midst. In addition, this alternative to hospitalization will free up hospital beds,” said the Minister for Health and Seniors, Sonia Bélanger, at a press conference Monday morning. Participation in the program will be voluntary.

The patient met regularly with his care team virtually. “All the technological equipment will be provided to the patient,” said the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Health and deputy for Saint-Jérôme, Youri Chassin. A nurse will also be available at all times by telephone.

Artificial intelligence will be put forward, said Dr. Vincent Oliva, president of the Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec. “One can track blood pressure, EKG, blood sugar and blood oxygen with Bluetooth technology,” he explained.

“Patients will have the same access as if they were in a hospital bed, which means priority access to diagnostic tests, such as a CT scan, to specialist medical consultations or to medication provided by the hospital pharmacies, but all of this will be done from the comfort of their own homes,” Ms. Bélanger said.

Projects will be unique to each region. “We want the various projects to be designed by the clinical teams, the medical teams, according to the needs of the population of a health establishment,” said Minister Bélanger. The targeted establishments have until mid-May to submit their deployment plan to the Legault government.

Ultimately, the projects will create the equivalent of 5% of hospital beds at home. “In the Laurentians, there are about 1,000 beds, so we can say that in the long term, when their project is well in place, it could make it possible to have up to 50, 60 more beds available,” said Mrs Belanger.

The Legault government wishes to deploy home hospitalization projects in all regions of Quebec by 2026. Medical specialists, via the Institute for the relevance of medical acts (IPAM), will offer 40 million for the deployment of the home hospitalization.