No surgeon in the house - Community Hospital experiences service interruption

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Added: Wed, 03/13/2019 - 11:19pm
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Allyson Beauregard

SHAWVILLE – The Pontiac Community Hospital experienced a temporary interruption of service, March 3 from 8 am to 6 pm, when a general surgeon was not available on duty. Although no transfers were needed, emergencies would have been transported to the nearest hospital, either in Hull or Gatineau.
The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO) announced the interruption two days prior. “We [stress] that all surgery positions in the Pontiac are filled and that the absence of an on-duty surgeon is
temporary and considered an exceptional situation... Surgeons from the Gatineau and Hull hospitals are working together to ensure continued coverage of
the territory,” said the organization in a press release. Specialized surgeries (orthopaedic surgery, endoscopies, etc.) were unaffected.
The situation was denounced by local citizens’ group Pontiac Voice, given that in some situations, rapid response is a life or death matter.
“This illustrates the need for local management in order to better foresee the possibility of people being absent (vacations, sickness, etc.) and finding replacements. With centralized management, they have many fires to tend, so we might not always be first on their priority list,” said Josey Bouchard, Pontiac Voice spokesperson.
The last surgical service failure at the Pontiac Community Hospital occurred in mid-August 2018.