• The Low Down

Let’s get all our facts straight about hospital

We can all agree that Wakefield Hospital is a vital institution within our region. Recent articles published by The Low Down (most recently, “Advocates: Wakefield needs more services, not less beds,” April 21 edition) are generating important discussion, and demonstrate the keen interest in our hospital’s future. However before discussing any possible future scenarios, we must first try to clarify where we are in the process and in fact what the process is. This may clear up some apparent misconceptions, help us better understand the process, and hopefully also steer discussion towards finding common ground on what is most important for our hospital here in Wakefield, both now and in the future. Here is what we know so far, as well as what we do not know:


We know that:


  • The newly released Plan Clinique outlines a number of recommendations related to future services at the new hospital in Gatineau, as well as those provided by other hospitals in the Outaouais region;

  • The process for discussion of the Plan Clinique has yet to be brought forward;

  • As of last week, the board of the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO) had yet to see the Plan Clinique document, let alone discuss the merits of the various recommendations;

  • There is an eight-year minimum timeline for the new hospital to be built in Gatineau;

  • At this time, there are more questions than answers, both in terms of the substance and process related to the Plan Clinique.


What we do not know:

  • The next steps to be undertaken by CISSSO;

  • Timelines and the process for the consultation process, including who will be consulted;

  • The content and timelines for an upcoming complementary report, Plan Clinique regional, on broader healthcare needs for the entire region.

Des Collines Health Foundation will be keeping these important issues in the forefront, now and in the months and years ahead, and will be well-positioned to keep our interested citizens informed and engaged. As a first step, we are in direct contact with M. Stéphane Lance, Deputy Director of CISSSO, who will be meeting with our board of directors in the coming weeks. Our plan is to work with all the concerned stakeholders to make sure that we share information in a transparent manner.


Let’s get all our facts straight and understand where CISSSO will take this next. We plan to be at the table pursuing our mission to support our health institutions in order to provide the best patient care possible in the Des Collines region.


Lydia Makuch Phillips is the director general of the Collines Health Foundation.