Interruptions of obstetric service in Shawville
The MRC Pontiac asks the Minister of Health to grant special status to the region
Article published on 20 February 2020
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The mayors of the MRC Pontiac made a request to the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, during Wednesday’s regional council meeting, to grant a special status to the region and take “immediate” action in remedying the shortage of nurses in the Pontiac.

That situation caused a number of interruptions in obstetric services at the Shawville Hospital since the beginning of 2019.

The request was unanimously resolved by the Mayors of the MRC, who consider that the geographical position of the Pontiac, with its proximity to Ontario, brings a number of challenge in the recruitment of nurses in the area, due in particular to the divergence of wages and working conditions across the river.

The Warden of the Pontiac MRC, Jane Toller :

Over recent months, the Shawville hospital has experienced about fifteen interruptions in its obstetrics wing, forcing some pregnant women to give birth outside the Pontiac: in Gatineau and sometimes Ontario.

Jane Toller also believes that the arrival of the Adjointe à la direction des services multidisciplinaires et à la communauté, Nicole Chaput, will be beneficial for easing communications between patient and management.

Nicole Chaputs’ mandate is to facilitate communications between the patients and the CISSS de l’Outaouais, in order to better meet their needs.

According to the CISSS de l’Outaouais, actions have been taken to alleviate the labour shortage in the Pontiac, such as recruiting personnel and using aid provided by midwives.

In December 2019, the CISSS de l’Outaouais called the media to report a 21-day obstetrics interruption, during which the director of nursing, Marie-Ève Cloutier, indicated that to guarantee an efficient obstetrics service in Shawville, twelve full-time nurses would be needed (two nurses per hour over a 24-hour period). Currently, the Shawville Hospital has four.

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