Patients asked to stay away from Lakeshore General Hospital due to staffing shortage

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The Lakeshore General Hospital in Montreal's West Island is on the brink of a break in service this weekend, a health-care workers' union is warning.   (Jaela Bernstien/CBC - image credit)
The Lakeshore General Hospital in Montreal's West Island is on the brink of a break in service this weekend, a health-care workers' union is warning. (Jaela Bernstien/CBC - image credit)

A West Island health-care workers' union is asking patients to avoid going to Lakeshore General Hospital this weekend due to a lack of staff.

In a news release Saturday, the FIQ-SPSSODIM union said it's on the brink of a break in service.

"We have an occupancy rate that exceeds 150 per cent and we are missing at least half of the nurses on several shifts, so there is a shortage of four, five, or six nurses per shift," said SPSSODIM president Johanne Riendeau.

"The situation is no longer safe in the emergency room, both for the population or for our members."

By Friday evening, the hospital's occupancy rate was 126 per cent. Eighteen people had been waiting for at least 24 hours on a stretcher and nine had been waiting 48 hours.

The SPSSODIM said health-care workers are apprehensive about the summer season.

It's calling on the government to put in place "incentives to get through the summer and obtain safe ratios to provide quality care to the population of the West Island."

In a statement, the health agency for the West Island — the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal — said it's inviting the population to consider alternatives to the hospital's emergency room this weekend.

It said that it's sparing no effort to provide service in its three hospital emergency rooms.

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