Quebec Healthcare June 2020-

Written by  //  October 14, 2021  //  Health & Health care, Québec  //  No comments

COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec

13-14 October
André Picard: Quebec’s decision to delay COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health workers is an insult to patient safety
Evidence from other jurisdictions is that the vast majority of health workers will get vaccinated if you force the point. And that’s exactly what Quebec (and other provinces) should be doing.
That’s an insult to patient safety, and to the workers toiling to end the pandemic and protect the public.
It will also embolden anti-vaxxers, which is the last thing we need to do at time when COVID-19 has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
By blinking first on vaccine deadline, Quebec may have given unvaccinated health workers upper hand
Health minister’s decision to delay vaccination mandate for health-care staff was ‘weak,’ says nurse
(CBC) Thousands of unvaccinated health-care workers in Quebec have been given an extra 30 days to get COVID-19 vaccine doses that have been available to them for months.
Wednesday’s compromise on a vaccination mandate is raising concerns the Quebec government has all but squandered its leverage when it comes to pushing holdouts in the health-care system to get their shots.
Quebec decision to delay mandatory vaccination sign of tough decisions for provinces
(Global) On Wednesday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé postponed by a month a requirement for health-care workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying it would have been “irresponsible” to suspend thousands of unvaccinated workers at a time when the health-care system is already fragile.
Dr. Katharine Smart, president of the Canadian Medical Association, said the difficult situation Quebec found itself in is the result of larger systemic problems that predate the pandemic.
“What’s happened in Quebec is really highlighting the legacy of underfunding and under-planning in the system that has left them with no wiggle room,” she said in an interview Thursday. Canada faced a shortage of nurses and other health-care professionals before the pandemic, she said, which has only grown worse.
Quebec delays vaccine mandate for health-care workers by one month, fearing staffing crisis
Risk of staff shortages ‘too high,’ health minister says, as deadline moved to Nov. 15
(CBC) Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé said the decision to push back the vaccination deadline for health-care workers was ‘difficult,’ but necessary to avoid ‘hitting a wall’ when it came to providing health-care services to Quebecers.
After weeks of insisting Quebec would go ahead and impose a vaccination mandate for health-care workers and suspend those who don’t comply without pay, the province’s health minister, Christian Dubé, has backtracked and is now giving them an extra month to get adequately vaccinated.
Currently, 93 per cent of Quebec health-care workers are fully vaccinated, but that still leaves almost 22,000 facing suspension because they have had only a single dose or are unvaccinated. Dubé said the health system wouldn’t be able to handle losing so much staff.
Earlier on Wednesday
Beryl Wajsman: Quebec decisions are disastrous for Montreal health care
This week we are being slammed with two health care decisions that could spell disaster for Montreal’s health care system and our capacity to deliver medicine to families. Though the decisions affect all of the province, nowhere else will their effects be so harshly felt because this island is the largest population centre. And the imminent harm has roused leading lawyers to take action and seek injunctive relief to stop them. We urge all our readers to contact your MNAs and evidence your support for these legal challenges.
Health Minister Christian Dubé has decided to reduce the number of general practitioner positions allowed for Montreal. He is moving dozens of positions out of Montreal and into the Monteregie. It is part of what are called the PREM guidelines that Quebec regularly adjusts. But this adjustment doesn’t help. It cripples. This change of allotment has so stunned so many seasoned observers that it has even been suggested that the reason for reducing Montreal and increasing the Monteregie allotment is that the CAQ gets a lot of votes in the latter region. We would hope that this cynicism is not correct.
If all this was not enough, this Friday, October 15th, is the deadline for all health care workers to be double vaccinated. Those who are not will be suspended without pay. Now it is understandable that the government has been pressuring these workers since the beginning of September to get this done. Minister Dubé’s efforts in this regard have resulted in a reduction of unvaccinated healthcare staff from 25,000 in September to this week’s 15,000. … But when we see that a policy has not achieved all of its goals, and the consequences of carrying out a threat are disastrous, perhaps it is time to rethink deadlines.

10 October
Montreal lawyer files safeguard order to avoid collapse of healthcare system
Montreal lawyer, Natalia Manole filed a safeguard order in Superior Court to challenge the decree for mandatory vaccinations for health care workers. The government decree is set to take effect on October 15th. It will force all health-care workers who are not fully vaccinated to be suspended without pay. The decree does not take into account whether or not the health care workers affected by it have direct or indirect contact with patients. It applies to all workers, including doctors, family physicians with up to 1000 patients, psychiatrists, secretaries, cleaning staff, paramedics and PAB’s.

8 October
Civil rights lawyer wants Quebec permit system for doctors declared unconstitutional
Fewer family doctors allowed to practise in Montreal, province’s health minister says
(CBC) Montreal-based civil rights lawyer Julius Grey says he will ask a judge to suspend Quebec’s system for determining how many family doctors can practise in a specific region.
The move comes after Health Minister Christian Dubé recently reduced the number of new family doctors who are allowed to practise in Montreal and increased the number who can practise in nearby suburbs.
“It’s very clear that even after the additional 30 being allocated to Lanaudière, Montérégie, to Laval, the number of patients per doctor is still lower in those regions than Montreal,” Dubé said at a news conference today.
Grey told reporters today the system is unconstitutional and he plans to file a court challenge next week to have the placement system suspended.
Dr. Mark Roper, a Montreal family doctor and the director of the primary care division at the McGill University Health Centre’s department of family medicine, says nearly 650,000 people in the city don’t have a family doctor, more than in any other region of the province.

21 September
COVID-19 live updates: Quebec may ban anti-vax protests outside schools, hospitals, Legault says
With case counts stable, Dubé urges Quebecers to remain cautious. After rising for a week, hospitalizations dropped on Monday.

COVID-19 updates, Sept. 16: Facing possible suspension, 20,000 Quebec health workers still not vaccinated
Province checking vaccination status of staff in schools, CEGEPs and universities, but won’t say whether it’s considering a vaccine mandate.

7 September
Allison Hanes: QCGN warns of new threat to English health services
The government plans to revamp a provincial access committee in a way that will compromise its independence and make it toothless, says the Quebec Community Groups Network.

7 August
Montreal restaurateurs, merchants, customers agree with vaccine passport
Though everyone the Montreal Gazette spoke to agreed with the measure, some business owners and employees questioned exactly how they’re supposed to enforce it.
So far in Quebec, 84 per cent of people 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose and 68 per cent are fully vaccinated.
On Friday, Health Minister Christian Dubé noted that the same day the province announced it will use the passports, twice as many people signed up for their first dose as in previous days.
Vaccination appointments double in Quebec after province announces vaccine passport plan

COVID-19 updates, Aug. 6: No masks or distancing in CEGEP, university classes this fall: [Higher Education Minister Danielle] McCann
Extra-curricular activities and sports will be allowed but only for the fully vaccinated, minister says.
The government guidelines — announced a day after Premier François Legault confirmed a return to in-person schooling — include a set of measures for the entire province that can be tweaked at specific schools depending on vaccine coverage and the epidemiological situation in the region.

COVID-19 updates, July 28: As cases rise, Quebec’s vaccination campaign is losing steam
Dubé urges Quebecers to get 2nd dose ASAP as positivity rate increases. More than 920,000 people have registered for province’s vaccine lottery.

COVID-19 updates, April 13: Montreal schools, non-essential businesses may close ‘in coming weeks’ – Legault
With variants spreading and more young people getting infected in Quebec, don’t expect life to return to normal before June 24, premier warns.

11 April
COVID-19: Quebec reports 1,535 new cases as government brings back 8 p.m. curfew in Montreal, Laval
Provincial officials announced on Thursday they would move the nightly curfew in both cities by 90 minutes as of Sunday as a preventive measure amid rising COVID-19 infections across the province

7 April
Montreal bracing for third wave as COVID-19 cases linked to variants increase in the city
The Quebec government announced new COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday for the provinces red and orange zones, aimed at curbing the spread of cases linked to variants.
The new measures coming into effect in Montreal include the closure of gyms, the return to hybrid learning for high school students in grades 9, 10 and 11, and reducing the maximum capacity in places of worship to 25 people.

29 March
Quebec officially in third wave of COVID-19 (video)
It was not the news Quebecers wanted to hear. After months of back and forth on tightening and easing sanitary restrictions, the province has officially entered the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Global’s Phil Carpenter explains, with the rise in variant infections, Quebec is trying to find a balance with what can and cannot stay open.

That was nice, but it didn’t last long!
16 March
Curfew pushed back to 9:30 p.m. in Quebec’s red zones
Premier François Legault announced the change on Tuesday, saying the situation is improving in Quebec despite the threat of variants and a possible third wave.
He said people have been requesting the curfew be pushed back as days are getting longer. However, the premier warned, people cannot hold private gatherings with friends and family.
“We can take an evening walk but indoor gatherings are still forbidden,” Legault said.
Legault announced the loosening of several measures, including allowing theatres and show venues in red zones to reopen on March 26. Audiences of up to 250 people will be allowed but they will need to wear procedural masks and remain distanced.
The premier said the vaccination campaign is getting into full swing and officials expect everyone over the age of 65 to be vaccinated by mid-April.
Everybody who wants a vaccine will be able to get it by June 24, he said, but that does not mean that public health restrictions can be immediately lifted.

4 February
Here’s what’s reopening in Quebec as of Feb. 8
The Quebec government has given the green light for non-essential businesses to reopen, including personal care services.
The current 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will remain in place in red zones.
Non-essential businesses (including personal care services) will be permitted to open all over Quebec, with limited capacity. Malls have also received permission to open, but will be supervised to avoid gatherings in common areas.
CEGEP and university students all over Quebec will be able to slowly return to in-person classes, where they will have to wear procedural masks. The government said more details will be announced in the coming days.
Museums have also been given the green light to reopen across the province, including planetariums, insectariums, the Biodôme and other such attractions, provided that health measures are in place.

6 January
Quebec imposes curfew, tightens lockdown restrictions as coronavirus health crisis deepens
(Global) In his first address of the New Year on Wednesday, Quebec Premier François Legault announced a tightening of lockdown measures aimed at bringing the second wave of the novel coronavirus in the province under control.
Under the new rules, an overnight curfew will be put in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning on Saturday, Jan. 9. until Feb. 8.
People will not be allowed out of their homes during those hours unless they are going to work, Legault said.
Quebec thus becomes the first province in the country to impose a curfew during the pandemic.
Much of Quebec, including Montreal and Quebec City, has been under partial lockdown since October, when bars, restaurant dining rooms, gyms and entertainment venues were closed. In December, Legault closed all “non-essential” retail stores and extended the winter break for elementary and high school students, and ordered office workers to work remotely.
All grocery stores and corner stores will be required to close at 7:30 p.m. to respect the curfew, except those with gas stations which will be allowed to stay open longer. Pharmacies will also be allowed under the new rules to remain open after 8 p.m.
Legault also ordered the closure of “non-essential” manufacturers, as well as a shut down of construction sites.
Churches and other places of worship have also been ordered to close.
Grade school students will be allowed to resume in-person classes on Jan. 11, as previously planned. High school students will continue with online learning for an extra week, with a return to school scheduled for Jan. 18.
(CBC) As part of the announcement, Quebec also revealed an updated, more optimistic vaccination timeline.
The province expects to vaccinate 250,000 people by early February, when Legault plans to lift some of the lockdown measures.
Those include all those living in long-term care homes and more than half the province’s health-care workers.
By the middle of February, Quebec expects to begin vaccinating people over 80 in the general population.

2020

19 December
Health-care workers say COVID-19 second wave has pushed the network to the brink of collapse
Nurses, doctors and support staff have been working extended hours with little or no vacations for more than nine months and experts fear the worst of COVID-19’s second wave hasn’t even come yet.
“There are many emergency rooms that are functioning at overcapacity without any reserve or any ability to compensate for the increased numbers that we expect,” said emergency medicine specialist Dr. Mitch Shulman.

Updated 16 December
Quebec schools, offices, non-essential businesses to close until Jan. 11 to help curb spread of 2nd wave
Most retailers will be shut down between Dec. 25 and Jan. 11, doing away with in-person Boxing Day shopping. The rest of the restrictions are also expected to be lifted Jan. 11.
Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, hardware stores and pet stores will be allowed to remain open. Big box stores will be allowed to open but will be restricted to selling essential goods, such as groceries and pharmacy products.
Provincially run liquor stores and cannabis stores will also remain open.
Dentists, optometrists and other health services will be allowed to stay open, but hair salons, spas and manicurists will have to close starting Dec. 25.
For the period of time between Dec. 17 and Jan. 11, the province’s yellow zones will be upgraded to orange and orange zones to red with restaurant dining rooms, gyms, museums and theatres shutting down as a result.
… In another change, people living alone in red zones will be allowed to join one family’s bubble. Currently, they are only allowed to receive a single visitor.

20 November
Brownstein: Legault’s COVID holiday gift a disaster waiting to happen
We should be doing what we’ve been told to do up until now from Dec. 24-27: limit all social contacts.
Quebec has outlined its guidelines for the holidays. Here’s what the experts say

15 November
$100 million investment in home care is a big relief for many seniors
Three days after deploring the Legault government’s lack of significant investment in home care in Minister Girard’s economic update, the Réseau FADOQ applauds Quebec’s injection of $100 million to improve the supply of home care services.
The country’s largest seniors’ organization believes this announcement will help repair the break in the continuum of care caused by the health crisis.
“There has been a big disruption in the continuum of care since the beginning of the pandemic. Our members have seen a significant decline in their home care service. In the current context, this recurrent funding from the Québec government will put a balm on the nightmare experienced by many seniors,” says the president of the Réseau FADOQ, Gisèle Tassé-Goodman.

23 October
Quebec health system headed for massive burnout in pandemic, expert warns
“What we’re going to see is all the indirect impacts of COVID-19 that have been lasting for so long,” Dr. Joanne Liu says as Quebec is poised to declare a tally of more than 100,000 cases.

24 September
Quebec’s long-term care homes are about to be put to another test, and the cracks are already showing
Evidence is beginning to mount that CHSLDs and seniors’ residences could see a repeat of the spring
Benjamin Shingler, Sean Gordon
The movement of staff between hot zones, filled with COVID-19 infections, and cold zones was one reason CHSLDs were so devastated by the coronavirus.
Four days ago the CHSLD in Maria, on the Gaspé peninsula, declared a COVID-19 outbreak. On Thursday, regional health authorities issued a cry for help, imploring locals to apply for work cleaning, cooking and caring for patients at the centre.
The appeal, designed to ease the pressure on exhausted staff, came the same day the provincial ombudsman issued a report excoriating the Quebec government for ignoring repeated warnings about the fraying elder care system.
And it landed only hours after the release of a pair of investigations into mass infections at two other CHSLDs that found alarming administrative and other shortcomings.
Four private seniors’ residences — two in Quebec City and two in neighbouring Chaudière-Appalaches — are considered by the province to be at the ‘critical’ stage, meaning more than 25 per cent of their residents have COVID-19. Another 35 are ‘under surveillance’ because they have reported multiple active cases.
In her annual report, Quebec Ombudsman Marie Rinfret said the failings of the province’s network of long-term care homes should have been corrected long ago.
The government has also recruited nearly 10,000 new patient attendants, about 7,000 of whom are already working in the system. The rest are still in training courses.

15 June
Quebec to allow indoor gatherings of 50 people, children to be closer together
Larger gatherings allowed and cinemas can reopen on June 22
Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province’s public health director, made the announcement Monday, explaining that this new regulation will allow movie theatres and performance spaces to reopen, with special measures in place.
In places with seating, and specifically where no one is talking, people will be expected to stay 1.5 metres away from one another, Arruda said. That includes university classrooms and movie theatres.
In larger gathering areas where there is a lot of circulation, including in restaurants, Quebecers will still be expected to keep two metres apart.

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