Lakeshore General Hospital in Montreal: Emergency Department at Breaking Point

The Montreal-West Island Union of Care Professionals has stated that the emergency nurses at the Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire can no longer meet the population's needs due to a critical shortage of staff. The Emergency Department's occupancy rate is currently at 129 per cent, and there is a regular shortage of nurses and nursing assistants on a number of shifts.

The union explains that one of the major problems is that many nurses are on sick leave, and the necessary replacement staff cannot be recruited because of the unsustainable working conditions. It has put forward several proposals since 2018 to end the overwork and understaffing in the Emergency Department.

"We have taken countless steps to correct the situation and have quickly put action plans in place. Emergency care professionals signed a petition in March 2019, and although the employer has made efforts to correct the situation, it is not succeeding in attracting and retaining emergency room staff," said union president Johanne Riendeau.

Under these circumstances the union is demanding that the government fulfill its responsibility to deal with the crisis in a way that meets the needs of the nurses and the public.

"The working conditions are not attractive enough and the professionals are leaving on sick leave due to exhaustion. Our most recent demand is to pay nurses and auxiliary nurses double the rate, but this demand was refused. We are addressing ourselves directly to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, and to the Premier, François Legault, who for the moment pay little attention to the care team and to all the care professionals who comprise it. The government must act quickly and concretely to improve working conditions and make the positions of healthcare professionals more attractive," Riendeau said.

(Quotations translated from original French by Workers' Forum. Photo: Fiq.)

This article was published in

Number 61 - September 15, 2020

Article Link:
Lakeshore General Hospital in Montreal: Emergency Department at Breaking Point


Website:   Email: