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Quebec health minister predicts another 'difficult' summer in hospitals

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé takes part in Question Period at the National Assembly, Quebec City, June 4, 2024. LA PRESSE CANADIENNE/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé takes part in Question Period at the National Assembly, Quebec City, June 4, 2024. LA PRESSE CANADIENNE/Jacques Boissinot
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Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé is predicting another "difficult" summer in the province's hospitals due to staff shortages and vacations.

More than 1,500 beds are expected to be closed this summer, 115 fewer than last year. The network has a total of 17,000 beds.

The health minister said that reorganizations will be implemented during service breakdowns. Dubé pointed out that the situation is complex, notably because there is still no agreement with the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec.

The minister also indicated that Quebecers could turn to the Guichet d'accès à la première ligne (GAP), especially since the number of appointments has increased since the agreement signed with doctors last week.

"We could see that for next week, we're already up to 8,000 appointments. That's encouraging," said Dubé.

The Ministry of Health has "again asked each facility to communicate promptly with the public as soon as service reorganizations are planned, in order to ensure predictability. All issues will be dealt with locally in each facility, in order to give priority to local management. In this way, the solutions put in place will meet the specific needs of citizens in each region," according to a press release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 19, 2024.  

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