COVID-19: the effects of spring shedding are still being felt at the CHU de Québec

At the end of a year of “great upheavals”, the CEO of the CHU de Québec admits that the massive load shedding carried out during the first wave last spring caused significant “collateral damage”, the effects of which are still being felt today. hui.

If he could go back, he would act differently by shedding less drastically, says Martin Beaumont, during an end-of-year interview with the Journal.

“I would have asserted myself more, I would have said: we will take our time […] I would do it as we do now, more step by step, ”he says.

The impacts of this first load shedding are significant, while waiting lists have grown considerably in certain sectors of surgical activity, while diagnoses have been delayed for some patients, thus exacerbating their disease. “The collateral effect of this load shedding is still being dragged out,” he said.

“These are cancers that cannot be detected, patients that cannot be treated, patients who have pain, these are patients who remain with their problems and their anxiety. […] We know that the disease generates so much anxiety that when they see their doctor, their nurse, their professional, the anxiety decreases. We know that we generated that, ”laments Mr. Beaumont.

When the first cases of COVID-19 arrived in Quebec, the five hospitals in Quebec saw their activities cut by more than 70%. A major change in the bar, which freed dozens of workers, to prepare the units to receive the first patients with COVID-19.

For the CEO, the load shedding is against nature. “It really is rough […] The CEOs of health establishments, we are not programmed to do load shedding. We are programmed to increase service to the population, improve access, ”he says.

On a personal level, the man behind the five hospitals in Quebec also claims to have lived the year 2020 with difficulty, especially when he thinks of his parents in their seventies, residents of Saguenay.

“We want to set an example, respect the rules, we do Skype, we see them from a distance […] Even for my children, it’s hard not to see them. When I came to work here, it was also to get closer to them and in the past year, it has been difficult, ”says Mr. Beaumont.

Despite everything, he believes that the pandemic will have “united” the community of the CHU de Québec.

At the same time, the CEO would like to thank the staff of the CHU de Québec for their resilience and their sustained efforts, throughout this extraordinary crisis. “When I do my 16 hrs a day sometimes, it’s because I want to do it. But when someone comes to see you and puts you in compulsory overtime, it has nothing to do with it, ”he says.

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