CISSSO board under investigation

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Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC & PONTIAC – In a press release issued December 19, Pontiac Voice, a local citizens group, indicated their support for the dismissal of the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais’ (CISSSO) board members, particularly CEO Jean Hébert.

Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC & PONTIAC – In a press release issued December 19, Pontiac Voice, a local citizens group, indicated their support for the dismissal of the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais’ (CISSSO) board members, particularly CEO Jean Hébert.
“Mr. Hébert and his team blindly imposed the reform of the previous minister, with disastrous consequences for rural regions. [They] carried out this excessive centralization without understanding anything about the organization of rural health
and social services. Their technocratic approach dehumanized patients and moved services further away from them,” said the group.
The news came after Chantal Lamarche, warden of the MRC Vallée-
de-la-Gatineau, attended a CISSSO Board meeting on December 13, accompanied by about 60 people, to highlight multiple issues facing the region since the creation of CISSSO in 2015. She also accused Hébert of ignoring rural regions’ concerns and neglecting them for the benefit of urban areas. Since
mid-November, general surgery services have been interrupted four times in Maniwaki due to a lack of personnel; the most recent was from January 10-13, following a nine-day closure in December. A letter was also sent to the Minister of Health, Danielle McCann, calling for Hébert’s dismissal.
In less than 24 hours, McCann responded by appointing Sylvain Gagnon as a “special agent” to create a report that documents the various issued raised, including his own observations, and make recommendations. The report will be submitted to the Minister no later than January 31, 2019.
Lamarche’s presentation was only one of the reasons behind the decision. “In the last few weeks, several partners from different horizons have expressed [concern] related to the organization of services, the availability of resources, the response to the needs of the population, and the governance from the CISSSO,” said the Minister’s statement.
Josey Bouchard, Pontiac Voice spokesperson, said the group is satisfied with Gagnon’s appointment as a first step. “It signals there is a problem in the way
CISSSO is responding to the requests/questions/problems with services. Hopefully this will be followed with further action. We’d like to have some form of real local management back and have health and social services re-aligned with the good practices we had before,” she explained.
Bouchard said that although the group hasn’t been able to speak with Gagnon yet, they are reaching out to him to make sure he’s aware of issues specific to Pontiac patients and families.
Free parking upheld
Bouchard also noted that Pontiac Voice has received word from the director of Fondation Santé Gatineau, the organization mandated to manage CISSSO parking, that public parking will remain free at the Pontiac Community Hospital in Shawville, but that employees will still be required to purchase passes. “The
status quo will continue for now, but we will remain watchful,” she concluded.