The CHU de Québec must close about fifteen operating rooms in all of its hospitals to send nursing staff to reinforce the units dedicated to the treatment of COVID-19.
• Read also: Operating theaters at the CHU de Québec relieved
The pressure is being felt more and more within hospitals which must deal with the absence of nearly 130 workers who have contracted the virus or who are in isolation.
To add to the problem, the CHU de Québec has, as of Monday, 61 patients who are being treated for COVID-19. This is almost triple the first wave.
Management therefore announced in a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon that a third of the operating rooms in the hospital would be closed for an indefinite period.
This load shedding will allow nursing staff to be redirected, among other things, to units reserved for the treatment of the coronavirus.
The Hôpital de l’Enfants-Jésus, Hôpital Saint-François d’Assise and Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement are all affected by these closures, as are the CHUL and Hôtel-Dieu de Québec.
We therefore expect a reduction of 300 non-emergency operations per week and up to 6,000 postponed or canceled outpatient appointments, which also represents a 30% decrease in the activities of the CHU.
Patients whose appointments or operations need to be rescheduled will be contacted by phone. Priorities will be given to the sectors of “oncology, pediatrics and chronic diseases”, specifies Dr. Roger Grégoire, coordinator of surgical activity during the pandemic.
“We are in a critical situation now,” says the director of specialized ambulatory services of the CHU de Quebec, Mélanie Dubé.
“The rapid increase in hospitalizations, the passage of the CHU to level 3 alert and the lack of manpower […] pushed us to make this decision, ”she continues.
Recall that the University Institute of Cardiology and Pneumology of Quebec (IUCPQ) had also announced the postponement of operations due to the pressure generated by COVID-19 on the establishment, on October 5.
Nancy Hogan, president of the Interprofessional Union of the CHU de Québec, is not surprised by the announcement. “At first, the transfer was done on a voluntary basis, but there are no more volunteers,” she says.
She recalls that a ministerial decree linked to the pandemic authorizes the employer to carry out this kind of adjustment.
“It’s unfortunate and special, but there was already a huge lack of people before the start of the second wave. We make sure that employees have personal protective equipment and that they have training. “
► If your operation or appointment has been postponed and your situation deteriorates, you can contact the CHU de Québec directly at 418-649-5654.
All CHU hospitals affected
Closed operating theaters at the CHU de Québec
- at the Hospital of the Child Jesus: 5
- at the Saint-François d’Assise Hospital: 5
- at the Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement: 2
- at CHUL: 2
- at the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec: 1
30% of activities on the ice
- 300 postponed surgeries per week
- 6000 postponed appointments per week
COVID-19 at the CHU de Québec (as of Monday)
- Patients carrying the virus: 61
- Employees carrying the virus 56
- Total staff absent from work: 124