Why are you closing beds at a brand new hospital? Does this mean I won't be able to get treated?

Anonymous, Montreal

Beds closure

Question: Why are you closing beds at a brand new hospital? Does this mean I won’t be able to get treated?

Answer: Having to close beds – in other words, having to lower the number of patients the MUHC can admit and treat - is never an easy decision. There are two main reasons for which the MUHC has had to recently close hospital beds.

Firstly, the MUHC clinical plan, which was approved by government in 2007, calls for the MUHC to reduce activities and increase focus on treating complex care patients. What is important to remember is that the Glen complex is a wonderful facility with state of the art technical platform which is intended to treat the sickest of Quebec patients.  This is the mandate of the MUHC.  Our transformation runs in parallel to that of the entire healthcare reorganization with empowers the CI(U)SSS to manage the first and secondary care. 

Secondly, the MUHC thought it could benefit from a transition period for the moves.  The MSSS informed us otherwise in November 2015 that we would be funded for 832 beds at an occupancy ratio of 85%. In reality, the everyday needs of our health care network are so demanding that the MUHC often operates at an occupancy of greater than 90 per cent. Due to these more stringent budget restraints, the MUHC is forced to make particularly tough decisions as to how we operate our tertiary and quaternary health care facilities.

As such, the MUHC has implemented “seasonal bed closures” during the summer weeks, winter and spring – the periods of the year that often result in a reduction in activity. The summer closures will be more significant than those implement in previous years however.

In terms of how these closures affect our patients, rest assured that we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact on our patient population. A key element to easing this impact is contingent on the restructuring of services offered at other healthcare centres within the network and a smooth transfer of patients between institutions, which is being handled by the MSSS.

The government’s reorganization is also one year old and institutions need to increasingly work in partnership to provide services so that the right patient is at the right place at the right time.  So resources have been deployed in and around Montreal to support the MUHC’s migration towards more acute care (beds in Lakeshore/Verdun, St-Mary’s deliveries, hemodialysis, etc.)

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