Possible closure of the Fortierville emergency: a lot of concern

FORTIERVILLE – There were people at Mass Monday night in Fortierville. Concerned about the planned closing of the CLSC emergency in the municipality during the night, nearly 350 people attended the civic meeting on this issue, which was held at the Fortierville church.
From the outset, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Mauricie and Central Quebec Center for Integrated Health and Social Services (CIUSSS MCQ), Carol Fillion, told the many citizens that It was time to talk about health and social services in the area served by the CLSC de Fortierville. This reorganization of the time slots of the emergency, which foresees its closing between midnight and 6 am, would favor according to the direction of the CIUSSS the access to health care.

The CLSC care team presented the reasons for closing the night of the emergency. Despite the presence of a doctor on site at any time during the night, very few patients are present. On average, the doctor sees only one patient per shift between midnight and 6:00 am Released from this night shift, the doctor can meet more patients during the day, says CIUSSS MCQ.

“It is true that it is disturbing when we hear that the emergency will be closed at night,” says Dr. Isabelle Héroux, a physician at the CLSC in Fortierville and an assistant in the Department of General Medicine. “Everyone would like to keep the services as they are, but we must because of the requirements of the Ministry of Health to offer more availability during the day.”

The safety of patients with urgent health problems during the night would be provided by ambulance services. More urgent cases have already been transferred to the emergency department of the Trois-Rivières Hospital Center.

The CLSC care team also explained to the citizens on site the operation of the ambulance service. Three ambulance teams are now in service at all times in the territory concerned. This is relatively recent, as paramedics worked until recently on faction schedules. This change resulted in an average 12-minute improvement in the number of ambulance workers who can provide certain health care services and arrive more quickly at the regional hospital center in Trois-Rivières.

The CIUSSS MCQ also mentions that the services currently offered by the Fortierville CLSC “do not allow physicians to effectively provide all services for their patients”. According to forecasts, it would be possible to carry out nearly 3000 additional consultations per year with the Family Medicine Group (FMG).

The closure of the emergency at night would result, according to the CLSC health care team, more availability of nurses and better access to radiology and GMF. “We will not work less. We will just be able to do more with the number of hours we have, “said Dr. Mireille Cantin, GMF manager.

Citizens’ anxiety

A citizen said after the presentation that the urgency of Fortierville “has been open at night for many years for nothing”. Carol Fillion told him that the ambulance services and the care at the Trois-Rivières Hospital Center have evolved considerably in recent years, making it possible to change the schedule of the Fortierville emergency.

The majority of citizens’ questions concerned precisely the speed of intervention of urgent care. CIUSSS MCQ’s management responded that urgent cases that put the patient’s life in danger are already going directly to the emergency department of Trois-Rivières, whether it is day or night.

Some citizens asked if closing the emergency at night is the first step towards a complete closure. This comment, mentioned a few times, was applauded by several citizens present. A doctor and the CEO of CIUSSS MCQ responded that the complete closure of the emergency is not envisaged. Another citizen says it would be good to have a nurse clinician on duty at night to “reassure seniors” who are, she says, very concerned about the situation. A doctor told him that there are no nurse clinicians in Quebec who are doing emergency.

Several citizens, who do not seem to have accepted the reasons given by the health care team, denounced the fact that the decision was taken without taking into account the opinion of the concerned citizens. Another citizen mentioned that this decision to cut the opening hours of the CLSC emergency is intended to reduce the budget and that it will lead to health risks for the population. As such, Carol Fillion replied that budgets are subsidized in Fortierville.

A petition launched by the elected

Many mayors of the Bécancour RCM attended Monday night’s meeting. The Mayor of Fortierville, Julie Pressé, said that the public care about its CLSC. “A decrease in services is never good news,” says the mayor. “There is still a lot of concern.”

For his part, the mayor of Sainte-Françoise and prefect of the RCM of Bécancour, Mario Lyonnais, announced that a petition was going to be filed by the mayors to sound the opinion of the population. “I ask you not to put the project forward now and wait for the results of the petition,” said Mario Lyonnais at the direction of CIUSSS MCQ.

Alan Carter
Alan Carter
Alan Carter has been a reporter on the news desk since 2015. Before that she wrote about young adolescents and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Koz Post, Alan Carter worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella.