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The Lachine Hospital is halfway to its $5M fundraising goal for new equipment

Lachine Hospital dreams big with $5M goal
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A fundraiser to provide the Lachine Hospital in Montreal with new equipment has surpassed the halfway mark of its $5 million goal. It comes amid a construction project to build a new hospital wing.

"We need to get out of the 1980s, 1990s. Things are going to be more efficient with new equipment," says Dr. Genevieve Chaput, a physician specializing in supportive and palliative care at the hospital.

The new medical equipment includes lifting devices for the palliative care unit and surgical suites that allow surgical procedures to be recorded for educational purposes.

"What we're going to have is the bells and whistles and all the extra equipment to help us do our job," adds Chaput.

Funds for the equipment are being raised through McGill University's Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation's 'Dream Big' campaign.

Operating room nurse manager Julie Marcil says the equipment and infrastructure at the old building no longer comply with today's standards.

"The room will be bigger, so for the people that work (in the hospital), it's going to be easier because the ergonomics are going to be better," says Marcil, adding that sufficient space is crucial for performing surgeries for seven to eight hours daily.

Officials are hopeful the new wing will also help the hospital attract talent as it struggles to fill jobs.

This past winter, the hospital's emergency room services were reduced for several months. Physician Dr. Paul Saba says the fight to keep the community running was well worth it.

"Despite the announcement of closures, which were temporary, the community rallied together. And when the community rallies together, when doctors and nurses get together, we can make good things happen," says Dr. Saba.

It's a sentiment echoed by Lachine borough Mayor Maja Vodanovic.

"Even with the mega hospitals, we don't have enough beds, we don't have enough doctors, we don't have enough services, especially for the West Island. So thank god we fought," she says.

Officials say the old building will still be put to good use.

"The liberated space will be the object of future projects to reuse the liberated space in the old building," says Claude Lemieux, project manager for the hospital's modernization.

The construction of the outside structure will be completed in 2024 and then the inside portion of the hospital will begin, opening to patients in 2026.

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