Medical imaging services halted at western Quebec health facility

The CLSC Petite-Nation in Saint-André-Avellin, Que., is seen in this undated photo. Western Quebec's health authority is pausing medical imaging services in the community until Nov. 20, 2022, due to a shortage of technologists.  (Radio-Canada - image credit)
The CLSC Petite-Nation in Saint-André-Avellin, Que., is seen in this undated photo. Western Quebec's health authority is pausing medical imaging services in the community until Nov. 20, 2022, due to a shortage of technologists. (Radio-Canada - image credit)

Western Quebec's health authority has temporarily halted medical imaging services in one of the region's communities due to a shortage of technologists.

Services will be paused at the CLSC Petite-Nation in Saint-André-Avellin, Que., from today until Nov. 20, according to the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO).

During that time, patients with the most urgent needs will be transferred to the medical imaging department at the Papineau Hospital, approximately 40 kilometres away, CISSSO said.

With roughly 40 per cent of the medical imaging positions within CISSSO currently unfilled, the situation is "fragile," said Zied Ouechteti, deputy director of diagnostic services with the health authority.

"It is so critical that if an employee takes vacation or goes sick, we have to reorganize the services we offer," Ouechteti told Radio-Canada in a French-language interview.

"The shortage is everywhere, but specifically in medical imaging — and more specifically at CISSSO."

The decision to pause services comes roughly a week after imaging appointments were briefly halted at the Pontiac Hospital in Shawville, Que., when a scanner broke down.

Saint-André-Avellin is roughly 80 kilometres northeast of downtown Ottawa.