• Stuart Benson

Gatineau ER closure strains Wakefield Hospital

The partial closure of the Gatineau Hospital emergency room on June 25, is putting added strain on the Wakefield Hospital, at a time when the Hills’ hospital is already experiencing a staffing shortage of its own.


According to CISSSO, the recent partial closure of the Gatineau Hospital emergency room put a strain on the already strained Wakefield Hospital. Low Down file photo
According to CISSSO, the recent partial closure of the Gatineau Hospital emergency room put a strain on the already strained Wakefield Hospital. Low Down file photo

According to CISSSO, the Wakefield Hospital emergency room is currently experiencing an increase of approximately 10 more visits per 24-hour period, which can be attributed to the partial closure of the emergency department in Gatineau.


However, the total number of visits per 24 hours currently averages around 41, which CISSSO said is comparable to that of before the pandemic.


“The 16-bed acute care medical unit is at full capacity almost 100 per cent of the time — if not at 15 of the 16 beds,” CISSSO told The Low Down. “As we are working to optimize bed utilization... when there are beds available at Wakefield, we are planning for transfers of patients admitted from another emergency department in the region.”


CISSSO also confirmed that, as with the Gatineau Hospital, the Wakefield hospital is also experiencing a “ significant shortage of manpower,” affecting the emergency department and the acute care unit following multiple staff departures in the past six months. CISSSO did not specify the reasons for the departures nor how many.


The Maison des Collines, the six-bed palliative care home located behind the Wakefield Hospital, has also been closed since June 20, due to an “extreme shortage” of nurses. As such, it has temporarily suspended admissions.


According to executive director Julie Filion, the home lost three staff members in the three weeks leading up to the announcement of the closure, which was immediately followed up with a recruitment campaign.