“I am always afraid that the health network will break”

Healthcare professionals are “on the verge of exhaustion” and observe that the health network is increasingly fragile in Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean, while many of their colleagues are in isolation or on preventive withdrawal and that hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are on the rise.

• Read also: COVID-19: “A change of direction” is necessary in Saguenay

On Tuesday, 10 new cases of coronavirus were identified in connection with a major outbreak at the Chicoutimi hospital. Since the start of this, 152 employees and 2 users have contracted the infection.

On the side of the Alma hospital, 95 employees and 37 users, in total, fell ill this fall.

In these two establishments, the CIUSSS confirms that it has put in place a relief plan, which has led to the postponement of certain elective surgeries.

However, surgeries and urgent appointments as well as the oncology sector are not affected, reports the organization.


“Beyond the number of cases that we see appearing every day, what worries me the most is really the number of hospitalizations which is really increasing significantly”, says Julie Bouchard, president of the Syndicat des healthcare professionals from Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean, affiliated with the FIQ.

“This is where I am always afraid that the health network will not hold up, that things will break down, because we will not be able to provide for the task if we continue to have so many hospitalizations for COVID-19, ”she continues.

The situation is also worrying in certain accommodation settings, such as at Villa Goyette, where 21 cases of COVID-19 were discovered in 24 hours, or 75% of the beds in this residence, at the start of the week.

Another outbreak is attracting attention at the Jacques-Cartier CHSLD, with around thirty active cases and 22 deaths.

On the verge of exhaustion

“I have a nurse who did 80 hours of work in five days last week in a CHSLD. This is not an isolated case, our members are more than on the verge of exhaustion, ”according to Julie Bouchard, who calls for outside help for its members, nurses, nursing assistants and respiratory therapists.


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