(Montreal) A group of citizens and elected officials went to the National Assembly on Tuesday to defend the Lachine Hospital and demand that the local services it provides to residents of western Quebec be safeguarded. island of Montreal.

Accompanied by Liberal MPs André Fortin and Enrico Ciccone, the delegation spoke to the media from the Press Gallery. The mayoress of the borough of Lachine, Maja Vodanovic, notably directly challenged the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, reminding him of his desire to offer “more humane, more efficient and closer to people care”.

She mentioned that on March 23, the 12 mayors of the West Island co-signed a letter addressed to the Minister asking him to continue the modernization work underway at the hospital.

Ms. Vodanovic maintained that “the hospital’s plans, developed and thought out in consultation for more than ten years […] embody the kind of efficient and close to people services sought by the Ministry of Health”.

“We are hopeful that the Minister of Health will make a good decision, because there is only one. It is that of a community hospital, close to the people, with emergency and intensive care, which responds to the noble intentions of its health plan, ”she added.

Citizens fear that the management of the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) will permanently close the emergency department and the intensive care unit of the Lachine Hospital. Currently, the emergency room is already closed at night and only welcomes patients who go there by their own means between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

To justify this public outing from Quebec, MP Enrico Ciccone said there was nothing stronger than a citizen movement to put pressure on the government.

The MNA for Marquette requested a meeting with the MUHC and Minister Dubé, inviting them to listen to the population.

His colleague André Fortin, spokesperson for health, added that he found it inconceivable that we should embark on an operation to close emergencies in Quebec when they are overflowing with patients.

“Boots have to follow chops,” he quipped of Minister Dubé’s promises of decentralization.

In the eyes of the Liberal MP, the issue of services in Lachine is the ideal opportunity for the Minister to demonstrate his real decentralizing vision by listening to the needs expressed by the community.

MUHC management speaks of a lack of health professionals to keep the emergency room open 24 hours a day, but the citizens’ committee does not believe it. We say we are looking for solutions and have solutions to submit.

A petition posted online in support of saving the hospital and its mission had garnered more than 3,000 signatures on Tuesday. Liberal deputy Enrico Ciccone also filed a petition with 4,570 signatures in support of the establishment in the National Assembly.