The Québec Ombudsman was informed about various problems with the care and services at Hôpital Anna-Laberge. Allegedly, the emergency room was frequently overcrowded. Too many people on stretchers were waiting to be hospitalized. As a result, some people were spending their entire stay at the emergency room. This is where they were treated, instead of on the appropriate unit. The Québec Ombudsman decided to intervene.
The investigation showed that the allegations are legitimate. For several years, the emergency room at Hôpital Anna-Laberge has been grappling with serious overcrowding. There are multiple causes for this (understaffing, not enough hospital beds, outdated computer system, etc.). Despite the staff’s good intentions, the circumstances are such that:
The Québec Ombudsman made 18 recommendations, including 16 to Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de la Montérégie-Ouest, the institution responsible for the care and services provided at Hôpital Anna-Laberge. The two other recommendations were made directly to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. The Québec Ombudsman also asked the CISSS and the Department for six separate follow-ups every three months, starting on October 29, 2021.
The CISSS and the Department ensured the Québec Ombudsman that they would cooperate fully. They indicated that they would carry out any required follow-up so that the various requests made in the report are adequately addressed.
Note that action is already underway to improve the situation.