After only a year since its opening, the Montreal Children's Hospital at the Glen site is set to undergo $5 million in repairs to the ventilation system.
The renovation, which is set to improving air flow, will force the closure of the pediatric intensive care unit.
Children will be moved to the adult intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital in the meantime, and newborns in the neonatal unit will be transferred to another section of the Children's Hospital.
The SNC-Lavalin consortium that designed and built the new hospital has filed a $330-million lawsuit against the MUHC, claiming it built the hospital according to MUHC specifications and is seeking compensation for additional costs.
The MUHC has filed a countersuit, claiming the consortium didn't build the hospital according to new standards.
The SNC-Lavalin consortium is responsible for maintaining the hospital, however, and has agreed to renovate the ventilation system. It is supposed to be completed by the end of this year.
Amy Ma of the MUHC patients' committee calls this latest snag unacceptable.
“It's a combination of the government imposing severe budget cuts when we had to undertake a complex move with three hospitals and a research unit going into a new facility and SNC-Lavalin not delivering on a high-quality finished product. There were lots of deficiencies,” she said.
“When that hospital first opened there were only two bathrooms that had push-button doors for people who were in wheelchairs and had to access the bathrooms. Although they’ll swear up and down and say they followed building codes, that’s not good enough when it’s a hospital and you know that there are sick, frail, elderly patients, patients with mobility issues, it’s not acceptable to say they just maintained the bare minimum, so yes we're frustrated on those two fronts,” she said.
There have been multiple problems with the new hospital since it opened, including problems with wiring in certain operating rooms, sewage bubbling up out of floor drains, problems with cell phone reception and construction deficiencies.