Plans to restore local control at Pontiac Community Hospital
-------- CISSSO hosts annual regional meeting

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Added: Tue, 10/22/2019 - 10:09am
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Carl Hager
SHAWVILLE – Representatives from the Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO) spoke about the organization’s operations, budget, and challenges during one of their annual public meetings, October 7 at the CHSLD in Shawville. There were more CISSSO representatives present than members of the public.
“We’re required by law to make one annual report to the public, but to better inform them, we hold five meetings in different regions,” said Stephane Lance, CISSSO deputy director general. With an annual budget of about one billion dollars, CISSSO ended the last fiscal year with an approximate $380,000 deficit.
Lance is aware that a negative image is one of the organization’s challenges, which partially stems from dissatisfaction with the centralization of management that took place in 2015. In an effort to ensure some measure of local control, CISSSO plans to instate two “local” managers in the near future to help oversee operations at the Pontiac Community Hospital (PCH). Lance said it’s essential to restore some of the balance that was lost in 2015.
Lance said medical staff shortages are a difficult and on-going problem and that retention is CISSSO’s top priority. The PCH has endured many service interruptions this year, mostly in obstetrics, due to a lack of nurses. The lack of specialists at the PCH is directly related to an Outaouais-wide shortage, said Lance; sending what few resources there are to Shawville for a few clients isn’t efficient deployment. CISSSO is looking at various solutions, such as asking retired personnel to work part-time.
McGill University will be opening a medical campus in Gatineau in 2020. Lance pointed out that doctors generally end up practicing where they are trained, so he is hopefully the new campus will result in an increase in medical professionals in the Outaouais within a few years.  
In an attempt to better understand the Anglophone community, their needs and facilitate better communication between them, CISSSO is establishing a seven-member committee to address their concerns. Relationships with regional First Nations groups are also being explored.
Almost 10,000 people work under CISSSO’s umbrella in over 80 establishments.