Local management needed in health care – CISSSO annual visit

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Deborah Powell

SHAWVILLE – Jean Hébert, director of the Outaouais integrated health and social service center (CISSSO), accompanied by board members and upper management, held a meeting at the Centre d’accueil Pontiac, October 9, as part of a five-stop regional listening tour.

Deborah Powell

SHAWVILLE – Jean Hébert, director of the Outaouais integrated health and social service center (CISSSO), accompanied by board members and upper management, held a meeting at the Centre d’accueil Pontiac, October 9, as part of a five-stop regional listening tour.
In his introduction, Hébert, highlighted local accomplishments like the Pontiac Dialysis Unit scheduled to open at the end of October, and the planned endoscopy unit. He underlined that the development of local governance to improve
services is a priority.
Question period focused largely on the issue of local governance. “We recognize that the lack of local management is a major problem,” said Hébert. “In 2015, we went from 75 managers to 37, the limit set by the province, and from 9 health organizations to one. We still need time to come up with solutions,” he added, mentioning that they are in the process of establishing a lead regional manager.
Recruitment is another big issue throughout the Outaouais. “We’re going to the grassroots in our communities, starting with high school students, and working to build pride in our health care system,” explained Gail Ryan, CISSSO Director of Nursing.
Regarding making appointments within the health system, establishing a central appointment service has brought improvements, according to Hébert. However, long waiting lists and getting specialists out to the regions to improve accessibility are still problems. Psychiatric services will once again be available in Shawville and Maniwaki after an absence of over 18 months.
 Language issues were also raised, especially access to English information. Dr. Tom O’Neill suggested that something as simple as including ‘Hi’ in initial telephone greetings would help alleviate stress for Anglophone clients. The French language test for health care workers was also said to be too difficult, affecting recruitment and resulting in local workers seeking employment in Ontario.
Following the meeting, Josey Bouchard, spokesperson for Pontiac Voice, said she is disappointed that there is no Pontiac representative on the CISSSO board; Calumet Island resident Pierre Frechette made it clear in his introduction that he represents the entire Outaouais.
Throughout the meeting, it was emphasized that filing complaints when problems occur is essential to improvement. Complaints can be made to the Complaints and Service Quality Commissioner at 819-771-4179 or filed on the CISSSO website.