Two scenarios for the Lachine Hospital

Two scenarios for the Lachine Hospital

The facility could become a center for specialized care and services without hospitalization

Posted at 5:00 am


Lachine Hospital, the only historically French-speaking hospital in western Montreal, could be converted into an outpatient center. The facility’s McGill University Health Center (MUHC) is currently evaluating two scenarios, including the conversion of Lachine Hospital into a non-inpatient clinic.

“For four years we have been struggling to maintain our services in Lachine,” said Martine Alfonso, Vice President and CEO of MUHC. This confirms that “the future of Lachine Hospital is being worked on”. We are attempting to determine what needs exist in order to maintain the facility’s vocation as a community hospital. “We are also looking at the possibility of a plan number two. To make it a more outpatient center,” she says.

That plan was presented to Lachine hospital teams on Thursday. According to two sources present in the room, the dissatisfaction was palpable. dr Paul Saba, who has been fighting to maintain the services of Lachine Hospital for years, deplores the fact that the mission of this important facility, including for the French-speaking clientele of western Montreal, is constantly under threat.

According to him, “the studies have been going on for 17 years and the conclusion is the same”. Or Lachine Hospital must remain a community hospital.

In November 2021, the Council of Dentists and Pharmacists of Lachine Hospital, with the support of 89% of its members, passed a resolution to preserve the community mission of the facility, which the government has invested $200 million in renovations in recent years.

Daytime operation only

Last week, the MUHC announced a “reorganization of services” for Lachine Hospital, stating that these changes were necessary in particular because of staff shortages. Among other things, a partial closure of the emergency room was announced

The MUHC also planned that only one-day operations would be conducted at Lachine from February 20. This request startled establishment surgeons. Five or six complex surgeries, including bariatric procedures, general surgery and urological reconstructions, are performed at Lachine every week. Surgeons bemoaned the lack of alternatives for their patients whose surgery would be postponed.

In the face of these protests, the MUHC finally decided to maintain its surgical activities for the week of February 20th. But Ms. Alfonso admits: “After February 27 at 11:59 p.m., nothing is certain.”

For now, the proposed solution is that doctors wishing to perform complex surgeries in Lachine after February 27 can only do so if they can guarantee to be personally present throughout their patient’s hospitalization. However, this support must be provided on a voluntary basis.

Already last week, Dr. Ngoc-Van Nguyen, general surgeon, said she feared Lachine Hospital would eventually be condemned to do “only day surgeries.”

Ms. Alfonso assures that all options are being studied to maintain the vocation of the Lachine Hospital Community Hospital. “But if it’s not possible, we’ll see,” she said. A decision is expected by the end of April.

With the collaboration of Fanny Lévesque, La Presse