(Montreal) The Lachine Hospital should return to its 24-hour emergency room by the fall, the McGill University Health Center confirmed on Wednesday. We also promise to increase the number of hospital beds, but there will no longer be an intensive care unit.

In a press release, the MUHC announces its decision to confirm the community hospital mission of the Lachine establishment. The conclusion is said to have been reached after consulting “many stakeholders” and the Ministry of Health.

“Thus, the Lachine emergency will gradually reopen over the next few months, to finally be able to receive outpatients and ambulances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” reads the MUHC announcement.

For a few months now, the emergency rooms have only received patients presenting themselves by their own means between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Ambulances called to the area are diverted to other Montreal hospitals.

In order to coordinate activities inside the establishment, it is announced that a manager will be appointed and deployed on site. It is added that a committee will be set up to organize the resumption of emergency activities.

However, the MUHC does not intend to open an intensive care unit in Lachine. It is believed that because of its location “a few kilometers from other hospitals that offer these services”, it is preferred to continue to transfer patients who require a higher level of care.

This decision seems absurd in the eyes of Dr. Geneviève Chaput, doctor and president of the local committee of the Council of Physicians, Dentists, Pharmacists (CMDP) of the Lachine Hospital, who compares the situation to “a car that has no engine “.

Dr. Ariane Murray, head of the Montreal Regional Department of General Medicine (Dr. MG), shares this misunderstanding. “It leaves us with some questions in terms of clinical trajectory and organization of care,” she commented, predicting a very high number of transfers between Lachine and other hospitals.

In his opinion, as soon as a patient demonstrates a slightly unstable state, he will have to be taken care of by Urgence-Santé, then sent to another establishment. Dr. Murray does not understand this decision as attempts are being made to reduce ambulance trips as much as possible.

Dr. Geneviève Chaput also reveals that the level of clinical acuity of patients who arrive on their own is increasingly high, according to what emergency doctors report.

With more than 19,000 visits recorded in the Lachine emergency room, we expect to see ambulances parading in large numbers if we do not have the resources to provide adequate care to these patients, warn the two doctors.

In terms of the number of places, about 20 beds will be added to the current 36 hospital beds within 12 to 18 months. However, it is warned that this will only be possible if enough nursing staff and family doctors are recruited.

But once again, Dr. Ariane Murray serves up a caveat. With more beds, we risk having more patients who develop complications and who show signs of instability. Even if this state is only temporary, without intensive care, these patients will have to be transferred and increase the burden of other establishments.

On the side of the MUHC, we consider this new plan for the Lachine Hospital as an opportunity to relaunch the establishment. The modernization project estimated at 220 million will continue as planned.

On Tuesday, a delegation of elected officials and citizens went to the National Assembly to demand an intervention by Minister Christian Dubé in this file. The mayor of the borough of Lachine, Maja Vodanovic, described the hospital as a model of the minister’s vision, which speaks of “care that is more humane, more efficient and closer to people”.

During the question period on Tuesday, Christian Dubé said he trusted the managers in the field to find a solution “and respect the essential role of the Lachine Hospital”.