At a press conference on September 14th, the mayor of Saint-Eustache, Pierre Charron, supported the Coalition Santé Laurentides and the other towns in the Laurentians so that the population has appropriate access to health care.

The Laurentian Health Coalition (CSL) continues its tour of the Saint-Eustache Hospital, with the objective of making known the urgent needs in health care and social services of the citizens of the Laurentians. Although it is fortunate and necessary that the hospital modernization and expansion project benefits from the acceleration measures provided for by PL-66, the critical increase in the last decade of the population of the Basses-Laurentides that the hospital serves, in addition to the population of the Laval-Ouest territory and the Mohawk nation of Kanesatake, has weakened seriously its capacity, due to a lack of funding and adequate resources.

For members of the CSL and the Saint-Eustache Hospital community, the situation is so alarming that the construction schedule must start now and not lose another day.

“The members of the CSL’s steering committee spoke with elected officials, users, healthcare staff and doctors to take stock of the current situation at the Hôpital de Saint -Eustace. Of course, the pandemic was at the heart of our discussions. But it only highlighted the inadequacy in terms of capacity for welcoming and treating patients which existed long before and which has reached its limits. This is a completely unacceptable situation, given the importance of the population of the Basses-Laurentides, the hospital thus requiring a significant upgrade, to allow it to fully fulfill its role ”, said Marc L’Heureux, prefect of the MRC des Laurentides and member of the CSL steering committee.

The sustainability of the hospital and the area is serves depends on increased hospital capacity

“The Hospital of Saint -Eustace had already reached a critical point more than a decade ago, particularly regarding the incongruity of its er and the significant lack of technical facilities and intra-hospital care. Already its modernization will come 5 years too late, our hospital is struggling to adequately receive specialists, severely affecting patients. To ensure a solid service corridor to adequately serve a pool of nearly 300,000 people, the Saint-Eustache Hospital must be able to ensure complementarity with the Saint-Jérôme Regional Hospital, and this through a significant increase in its hospital capacity, ”says Dr. Lino Gianni Birri, specialist in general internal medicine at Saint-Eustache Hospital.

Calling on stakeholders to find an innovative local solution

“Let’s be clear: every week for two months, people have been asked not to come to the emergency room at Saint-Eustache Hospital. We are near the breaking point. This might lead to a domino effect on the other hospitals in the region, which are also fragile. We cannot sit idly by until the government’s announced solutions to address the health workforce crisis begin to take effect – which may take weeks and month: we need to act now and go off the beaten track. We call for a concertation of all parties to imagine simple, clear, and rapid solutions aimed at better supporting nurses and caregivers. In the short term, let’s try a local innovative solution in Saint-Eustache, in collaboration with Saint-Jérôme,” says Dr. Lyne Couture, family physician, member of the CSL steering committee and vice-president of the Association des médecins omnipraticiens Laurentides-Lanaudière (AMOLL).

Reminding Laurentian members of the Cabinet of Ministers of their commitments

“Barely 4 years ago, the MNA for Deux-Montagnes, then in the opposition, now a member of the Cabinet, rightly argued that It is unacceptable that the citizens of the Laurentians have to travel outside their region to receive basic secondary care. This is still the case today, sorry to say. The funding, as he said at the time, did not follow the patient. The unanimous motion of May 6th in the National Assembly gives him today all the legitimacy, as well as his other fellow ministers and deputies of the region, to deliver the necessary financial catch-up and have a game plan to accelerate the modernization and expansion of all of our six hospitals in the region, ”said Denis Martin, Prefect of the Deux-Montagnes MRC and Mayor of Deux-Montagnes.

Solidarity from south to north of the Laurentians region

“We have the same objective, from south to north of our region: it is to obtain what is needed for our population in order to have access to appropriate care no matter the circumstances. I think that our taxes have the same worth as everywhere in Quebec: it is just and normal to have a fair return for the health of the citizens of Sint-Eustache and the Laurentians”, said Pierre Charron, mayor of the city of Saint -Eustace. In solidarity with his colleague from Saint-Jérôme and his colleagues from Mont-Laurier, Rivière-Rouge, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts and Lachute, he also demanded a return to local governance and proximity of access, to improve the recruitment and retention of staff and more generally to strengthen the accessibility of a care offer for comprehensive primary and secondary health throughout the region.

A collective responsibility

“We do not realize to what extent the Laurentides region is an important region in Quebec: the 4th largest region – barely 120,000 people less than the National Capital – and especially the 2nd largest CISSS territory. It is a source of major concern for our region and that is why we are calling for a commitment from the government to improve access to care, through a strong regional hospital with five other satellite hospitals equally strong. Laurentians must be able to benefit from the coverage of all care primary and secondary, which is still far from being the case. This is corrected by a financial catch-up as desired by parliamentarians unanimously on May 6, 2021 ”, concluded Dr. Daniel Picard, nuclear specialist, member of the CSL steering committee and president of the Association of physicians and professionals for the advancement of the Saint-Jérôme Hospital.

The Coalition Santé Laurentides

The Coalition Santé Laurentides (CSL), supported by a steering committee and an advisory committee that bring together elected officials, business people, medical staff and community stakeholders, takes a stand and acts as a voice for decision-makers to obtain the funding and infrastructure to meet health care and social services needs in the Laurentians.