Staff shortages still a concern in area health care institutions

On the weekend of July 4th, nurses at the Lakeshore General Hospital held a sit-in decrying the lack of staffing at the hospital.

The Suburban reached out to the West Island Regional Health Board (CIUSSS) to find out if the situation had improved.

The board confirmed that a sit-in had taken place and through a statement, told The Suburban that “managers, employees and the union worked together to remedy the situation to ensure that services were provided to the public in a safe manner.”

The board is planning to put together a joint committee that will include hospital personnel in order to find solutions to the chronic staffing shortages.

When asked if other area institutions like Lachine and Lasalle Hospitals are experiencing the same staffing shortages, The Suburban was told that “staffing was an issue prior to the COVID 19 outbreak, especially nurses.”

And despite an increase in staffing positions over the last year, “labor shortages remain an issue and we are continuing our efforts to do so.”

With the Canadian Armed Forces finishing its tour of duty in area hospitals and CHSLDs on June 26th, Red Cross workers have now been deployed in two CHLSDs, Lachine and Nazaire-Piché.

The board did not answer how many Red Cross workers are being deployed into the institutions.

Regarding summer breaks for health care workers, employees will be able to take between two to three weeks of repose between now and the beginning of October.

With Annie’s sur le lac resto-bar in Sainte Anne-de-Bellevue closing due to a manager being infected with COVID 19 and less than ideal physical distancing happening on the city’s boardwalk or at Cap St. Jacques and Oka beaches, The Suburban asked if there are any suggestions from the health board to stem a potential second wave.

Hand washing, physical distancing and mask wearing where physical distancing is not possible are the three main recommendations to continue to follow as they are proven to restrict the spread of COVID-19.

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