By Jack Wilson
Local Journalism Initiative
The regional health authority will close 175 beds this summer, announced the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS June 6. The number represents a significant increase from last summer’s scale downs, when about 105 beds closed, with continued staffing shortages set to impact the health system even more acutely in coming months.
The authority is currently missing 1,500 staff. As nurses, doctors and others take holidays, the summer period tends to already be difficult. Like elsewhere in Quebec, retention remains a challenge and stressful working conditions seem unlikely to improve the issue.
“As a general rule, there will be additional adjustments compared to what we did in past years,” said Annie Boisvert, adjoining general director of the general and specialized physical health program.
“The challenge is always finding the balance to offer our population a safe, quality service based on the available human resources,” she said.
Boisvert said staff retention was a major factor in developing the latest plan. She said the CHUS aims to “keep our precious resources in the healthcare network and allow them to take very well-deserved vacations.”