Despite expansion, concerns persist for future of Lachine Hospital
Construction for a new building at the Lachine Hospital is in full swing. Last year, the project was set to include an emergency room, an intensive care unit and more operating rooms.
The emergency room at the Lachine Hospital is currently closed from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. and its ICU has been closed for years.
“They try to make it bigger, they want to make it state of the art, but they want to reduce some services which we cannot accept here in Lachine,” Enrico Ciccone, MNA for Marquette, said.
There are concerns that the original plans for the expansion could change.
Dr. Paul Saba says he’s heard officials want to turn Lachine Hospital into a mini emergency room. One that would only operate during the day.
“Study after study shows whenever you close a community emergency room you have increased deaths esp,ecially for time-sensitive illnesses like heart attacks,” Saba said.
Lachine’s mayor says she’s heard the MUHC was looking at turning the hospital into a long term care home for seniors.
“Not a real hospital. That was one of the options that they were looking at,” Maja Vodanovic said. “We're left in the dark and we approved plans for an emergency room, ICU, best quality equipment that we are working to fund. All of a sudden there could be an option that there will not be any emergency room.”
With emergency rooms overcrowded across the city, Saba feels the Lachine Hospital could help.
“The best care for life is to reopen the emergency room at Lachine 24/7 with ambulances. Any other solution is patch work,” he said.
A spokesperson for Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube says all options for the Lachine Hospital are on the table.
The MUHC says it will submit a decision about the hospital’s future to the health ministry by the end of April.