CISSSO cuts more services at Pontiac Hospital

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Lynne Lavery
Local Journalism Initiative

MRC PONTIAC – On July 27, 2023, the Centre Intégré de santé et services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO), based out of Gatineau, published a press release stating there was a “reorganization of operating room and intensive care services at the Pontiac Community Hospital (PCH), in Shawville.”

The notice stated that due to a lack of respiratory therapists they would cut services over the weekend between 3:30 pm on Friday until 7:30 am on Monday, starting July 28 until further notice. During these times any victims of trauma requiring intubation would be taken to either the Hull or Pembroke Hospital, whichever is closer. As well, anyone in the ICU, who was intubated, would be transferred to the Hull hospital for care.

Emergency remains open

CISSSO noted the emergency room will remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and other hospital services remain open with their usual hours. As well, the operating room and intensive care unit will be open throughout the week, 24 hours a day, with respiratory therapists available.

In an interview with CHIP FM, Serge Boucher, the deputy director of professional services at PCH explained that normally there are four respiratory therapists on staff, but currently there are only two.  The concern for their burnout was the reason the decision was made to limit the operating room and ICU hours, calling it “the best course of action,” concluding this is a short term solution and they are working hard to solve the problem.