Operating Rooms Are At Semi Capacity, Reveals the CAQ


 6 June 2016

While 20,000 Quebecers are stressed and anxious from waiting for their surgery for over six months, the operating rooms in Quebec’s hospitals are working at only half of their capacity, reveal the figures gathered by the CAQ. It was the party’s health critic, François Paradis, who uncovered this outrageous situation. He held a press conference in front of the Saint Jerome Hospital, where 2,240 patients are currently waiting for a surgery; 200 of them for over six months.

Nonetheless, the average usage rate of the operation facilities is of hardly 53% in Quebec; it shifts between 29% and 65% according to the region, regrets Paradis. He notes another undeniable fact: None of the regions are attaining their targeted 75%, set by the Health and Welfare Commissioner.

“The situation has been escalating for years, due to the underuse of the operation rooms in Quebec’s hospitals. They have been operating at mid-capacity due to a striking lack in human resource and equipment. Meanwhile, as the waiting lists are exploding, the number of surgeries performed in Quebec have decreased by 11,500, since 2012. This is the Liberal track record! The figures uncovered by the CAQ should serve as a wakeup call to Minister Gaétan Barrette, who needs to endow hospitals with the ability to provide their patients with the services that they rightfully deserve”, claimed François Paradis.

The member for Lévis told the Minister that there is no excuse to remain passive. He recalled that in January 2012, in a review by the Quebec Federation of Medical Specialists (FMSQ), Barrette strongly denounced access limitations to operation rooms, for doctors and their patients. “Mr. Barrette is a victim of his past statements. Why isn’t he taking charge, now that he is at the head of the healthcare system? He has the power to act, and he must set himself specific goals and objectives, in order to reduce the number of patients on the waiting lists by 2017; when his agreement with the FMSQ is due to expire”, exclaimed François Paradis.

The Laurentians and Saint Jerome Are Not Forgotten

In the Laurentians, where Monday’s press conference took place, the picture’s far from perfect. The operation room’s 53% usage rate mirrors the rest of Quebec. “Here, in Saint Jerome, 2,240 men and women, many of which are experiencing tremendous anxiety, have been waiting for weeks and months to get operated. Today, they are learning that their wait has been in vain, as the operation rooms are vacant half of the time. Reducing the waiting lists is simple: Doctors need to have access to the operating facilities which aren’t used to their full potential. Why is the Minister reluctant to help the people of Saint Jerome?” asked the CAQ member.

In his press conference, Mr. Paradis was alongside the member for Mirabel, Sylvie D’Amours; the member for Deux-montagnes, Benoit Charrette; the member for Groulx, claude Surprenant; and the member for Blainville, Mario Laframboise. All four are caucus members of the CAQ for the Laurentian region.

Regional Data:

Abitibi-Témiscamingue: 29 %
Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine: 31 %
Côte-Nord: 32 %
Bas-Saint-Laurent: 40 %
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean: 42 %
Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec: 51 %
Estrie: 52 %
Chaudière-Appalaches: 54 %
Lanaudière: 54 %
Laurentians: 54 %
Montérégie: 55 %
Outaouais: 57 %
Montreal: 57 %
Laval: 64 %
National Capital: 65 %