Pontiac Voice meets CISSSO reps

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Left to right: CISSSO representatives Joanne Dubois and Nicole Boucher-Larivière met with Pontiac Voice representatives Josey Bouchard and Jennifer Larose to discuss new CISSSO initiatives on health care in the Pontiac.

Carl Hager

SHAWVILLE – After a hiatus of almost four years, representatives of Pontiac Voice met with Centre Intégré de Santé et des Services Sociaux de l’Outaouais’s (CISSSO) Director of Proximity Services Nicole Boucher-Larivière, at the administrative offices of the Pontiac Community Hospital on April 12.

“The aim of this meeting is to renew dialogue with the community on health services. It is my intention to be as transparent as possible on the developments occurring in health care services for the Pontiac,” said Boucher-Larivière. She added she plans to have regular update meetings with Pontiac Voice and other groups in the community.

Boucher-Larivière explained her new role with CISSSO was created to increase communication links with the community and to ensure the community understands developments in health care delivery. Her assistant Joanne Dubois has been tasked with issues related to the use of languages in the health care system so that anglophone clients are not intimidated by going to the “French” hospitals in Gatineau.

Boucher-Larivière noted she has met with managers working at the hospital to bring all department voices to one table, to make sure they was working as a unified whole. Previously, individual managers were liaising with their counterparts in other institutions, so they were often not aware of problems in their own hospital in other departments.

The creation of a “User’s Committee” is also one of Boucher-Larivière’s main objectives. “We want to hear from our users so that we know what areas in health care delivery are problematic, so that we can take steps to fix them.”

Pontiac Voice spokesperson Josey Bouchard asked if she had more details regarding the government’s recently announced Health Care Reform and the creation of the new agency, Santé Quebec (see related article pg 7). Boucher-Larivière indicated there is a meeting scheduled for April 26 with local representatives, including mayors, MRC representatives, and the business community.

The Pontiac is suffering from a lack of doctors, nurses and technicians, and the retirement of many workers has created a situation where many positions are unfilled. Solutions are being looked at, but the situation is complex. For example, Boucher-Larivière noted three new nurses were recently hired to work at the hospital but since they could not find a place to live in the Pontiac, they declined the job offer.

Bouchard stated it is very important for CISSSO to reinstate obstetric services at the hospital, and Boucher-Larivière acknowledged one of her main objectives is to bring services closer to the people; the work is just beginning, she said, adding she hopes continued dialogue between CISSSO and community representatives will bring results.