Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quebec ERs looking for 'a miracle'

This story from The Gazette of Montreal. There are photographs in the story which I'd encourage you to go see.  [06/27/2012 note:  The photographs are gone, but the story may still be read here:]
Following a string of emergency room fatalities and the current controversy over delayed surgeries, the head of Quebec's College of Physicians said yesterday it would take a miracle to revive the ailing health care system.
In an open letter, Dr. Yves Lamontagne said that listening to politicians and commentators rattle on about the provincial health care system crisis makes him want to resuscitate Montreal saint-to-be Brother André - and then have him named Quebec health minister so he could perform more miracles.
Savard's exit comes at a bad time. ER occupation rates have climbed to 200 per cent. Several deaths have been linked to crowding and staff shortages that have crippled ERs since last month.
- Last Friday, Jean-Guy Pitre, 65, died after waiting six months for surgery to fix a blocked aorta. A lack of beds in the intensive care unit delayed his operation.
- Mariette Fournier, 86, died Feb. 23 after spending four days in a corridor of Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital's ER.
- Mieczyslaw Figiel, 75, died in the Maisonneuve ER hallway. He was having trouble breathing, but his family couldn't flag down a nurse.
Yesterday, Montreal Island's hospital occupation rate was at 123 per cent - or 629 patients in ERs that have gurneys for 512 patients.
Yup, let's get that government-run health care going here as soon as possible. I want everyone in the U.S. to have health coverage. This isn't the way.

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