Paramedical workers want to regain access to the garages of hospital centers which were transformed, at the start of the pandemic, into spaces to sort patients.
Garages allow paramedics to bring patients to hospitals in a safe manner. The new configurations forced paramedics to unload their patients from outside and made it difficult to access hospitals.
In a statement, the Association of Prehospital Workers (ATPH-CSN) announced that it is giving hospitals until November 30 to “correct the situation”.
The decision was made shortly before the spring by hospital administrators, when the first wave of COVID-19 broke out. With the drop in cases during the summer, indoor triage was able to resume, but the garages remained and to this day remain out of access for paramedics.
“Most hospitals no longer even use the garage for triage, but use it as a warehouse,” said Frédéric Maheux, president of the ATPH-CSN. During this time, our members have to go out with their patients in the rain or snow, and the terrain or parking lot to cross is not always suitable, which increases the risk of falling with the stretcher when we have to maneuver on rugged terrain ”.
According to the ATPH-CSN, the current situation also increases the risk of contamination among paramedics.
Union members have adopted an “action plan” 97% in Quebec City and 100% in Portneuf.
“We are giving hospitals until November 30 to correct the situation, after which we will launch an action plan to ensure the health and safety of prehospital workers and their users,” Jonathan Beaupré declared in a press release, APTH-CSN vice-president for information.