Politicians against changes made to current Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital status
By John Jantak
PHOTO COURTESY MRC-VAUDREUIL SOULANGES
Though the ground has not yet been broken for the long awaited Vaudreuil-Soulanges Hospital, questions have already arisen concerning possible changes to its service structure.
Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Marie-Claude Nichols is calling on the CAQ government and the provincial Ministry of Health and Social Services to confirm that the long-awaited Vaudreuil-Soulanges Hospital will not be delayed or modified due to political pressures or electoral interests.
“It is out of the question that I will remain passive in this matter,” stated Nichols in a press release that outlined her concerns. “I am ready to defend our hospital and I invite the (CAQ) MNA for Soulanges (Marilyne Picard) to join forces with me. The people of Vaudreuil-Soulanges have waited too long.”
Possible changes to current structure
Nichols is worried about possible changes to the proposed structure of services that could have a negative impact if the government doesn’t follow through on recommendations that certain services from Hôpital du Suroît in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield be moved to the new Vaudreuil-Soulanges Hospital in Vaudreuil-Dorion.
“The people of Vaudreuil-Soulanges have waited too long and they hope that political pressure does not interfere in the matter of making the long-awaited hospital a reality. The studies were carried out by experts and took into account the exponential growth of the region,” Nichols stated.
With 2,000 births per year - which represents 32 per cent of births in the CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest - the region has the highest birth rate in the province. About 55 per cent of women who give birth at the Hôpital du Suroit live in in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region. This means that the establishment of a birthing unit and a mother-child centre at the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Hospital is more than a necessity for the region, according to Nichols.
Providing the best care possible
“We want all three hospitals (in the Montérégie-Ouest) to provide everyone with the best possible care. The goal is not to withdraw services, but to add more at the regional level and redirect them according to needs,” stated Nichols.
“It’s not about waging a war between the three hospitals. They will be complementary in their service offerings. I urge the minister not to give in to the pressure and allow the population to be treated in our new hospital according to plans already established,” Nichols added.
Regional support for current plan
Last week, the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Développement Vaudreuil-Soulanges (DEV) and the Chambre de Commerce et d’industrie de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (CCIVS) also issued a joint press release calling on provincial Health social services minister Christian Dubé to confirm the adoption of the clinical plan by the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Montérégie Ouest (CISSSMO) which will distribute health services in its network after the construction of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital.
The three organizations feel the current clinical plan has already been considered by experts and supported with scientific argument and reflects the needs of the territory especially with the significant population growth occurring in the region.
Hospital should not become politicized
“We must, at all costs, avoid politicizing a debate as sensitive as healthcare services and we call on all parties for restraint. We fully understand the concerns expressed concerning the transfer of the mother-child center, however, we must look at all the needs of the Montérégie-Ouest network and rely on the clinical plan,” said Patrick Bousez, Prefect of MRC of Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Mayor of Rivière-Beaudette.
The population in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region is currently more than 150,000 residents. It is the only region in Canada with a population of over 100,000 residents that does not have its own hospital.