The cry from the hearts of the emergency room nurses at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont seems to have been heard. The head of the department, whose nurses called for his immediate resignation, will be transferred to another function, said the President and Director General of the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. An external consultant was also hired to improve the working atmosphere, said the Minister of Health.
The emergency is so great that it had to be partially closed last night due to staff shortages. The nurses held a sit-in, refusing the contingency plan offered by their employer. Ambulances were diverted to other hospitals.
“It is an intolerable situation”, Minister Christian Dubé summarized Tuesday in a press conference in front of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (HMR), recalling that the nurses informed the CIUSSS of their decision a few hours in advance. “We respected her decision, but at the same time she still puts us in a pretty difficult situation,” he said.
The minister pointed out that an outside consultant has been hired to hear the parties. The working atmosphere must be improved, he said.
“We have agreed to bring someone from outside into the coming situation and to continue to look for solutions,” said Christian Dubé. Discussions will take place this afternoon. In his press conference, the Minister recalled that this crisis occurs in the context of collective bargaining.
Nearly a hundred emergency nurses and caregivers signed a petition calling for the immediate resignation of their ward manager, otherwise they threatened to resign on Wednesday. The signatories denounce the excessive use of forced overtime (TSO) and the “toxic atmosphere” that has prevailed since their head of unit took office. The document was delivered to the CEO on Friday.
“Since her appointment as Head of HMR Emergency Services last July, we have seen a devastating deterioration in our working conditions. The number of transmission system operators is constantly growing and this encourages our team members to leave, creating more than deplorable working conditions,” they argue in the petition. The nurses and nursing assistants add that they have “no longer had confidence in the managerial and leadership abilities” of their ward manager.
When asked about this at a press conference on Tuesday, the CEO of the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, Jean-François Fortin Verreault, emphasized that he did not want to “personalize the debate”. He added that “the situation at HMR is extremely difficult” and that the “person concerned” is not responsible for the hospital taking in more patients than its capacity. However, he agreed to the nurses’ request and reassigned the troubled manager. She remains employed by the facility, but is “not in direct contact with the team”. He is replaced by an “externally” recruited person.
The emergency will be fully open tonight, he assured reporters. “The goal is to keep the emergency room open. »
If the emergency remains open, it will be hanging by a thread, predicted Denis Cloutier, president of the Union of Care Professionals of the East-of-the-Island-of-Montreal. “We are currently short of 12 out of 24 nurses for the evening shift. 50% of the staff will be absent tonight. And these are not unforeseen outages, this is the state of the art for the staff at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont ER. »
“Nevertheless, it was important for the chef to be tight. It went too far. But beyond the person, it’s an issue of scarcity,” he stressed.
This is exactly the solution advocated by Québec solidaire health spokesman Vincent Marissal. This partial collapse in service will be repeated unless Quebec recruits privately-employed nurses from the public. “If a requisition is required [les infirmières], in war as in war they are commandeered. In this regard, the government and Minister Dubé never had the courage to go there,” said Vincent Marissal.
More details to come.