The CISSSO’s centralized administration fails the Pontiac

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An open letter to Minister of Health, Christian Dubé

In 2015 the CSSS du Pontiac was fused with 5 other hospitals to create the CISSS de l’Outaouais.

Most administrative positions and financial responsibility were transferred to Gatineau. Before the fusion under local administration, the CSSS du Pontiac was the only one of the 6 hospitals in the Outaouais to be able to balance its budget and at that time had the least number of administrators per capita. Since that time, in addition to loosing financial and administrative control, there has been a progressive decrease in services offered to the population.

(1)        Obstetrics service has been closed and unlikely to return, despite reassurances from CISSSO it is a priority.

(2)        Cataract surgery and follow up have been progressively transferred to the city.

(3)        The absence of consulting specialists in gynecology, gastro-enterology and urology

(4)        An important decrease of endoscopies performed.

It is not clear if this is deliberate, or a failure of the CISSSO’s centralized administration. The remaining local management have enormous responsibilities to ensure care for the Pontiac communities. They have recently been successful in:

(1)        Resolving the lack of inhalational therapists, therefore ensuring that the operating room remains open.

(2)        Avoiding the temporary closure of the emergency rooms caused by the lack of ER physicians.

Solutions should exist to guarantee adequate medical care in rural areas. The government should give a clear mandate to their CISSS, to re-establish sufficient care here in the Pontiac and other rural communities.

Dr. Thomas C. O’Neill
F.C.F.P., C.C.F.P. ( FPA)
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, McGill University