Quebec docs take complaints to YouTube
MONTREAL – Unable to get attention
from hospital executives or provincial officials, doctors at LaSalle
Hospital have posted videos on YouTube to publicly criticize what they
call the unhygienic state of their emergency rooms. Using the online
video site, they are showing Canada and the world the conditions they
say undermine the health of patients.
“We weren’t being heard,” Dr. François Langlais, one of the two
physicians behind the campaign, told the CBC. “It was a last resort. It
wasn’t something that we’re doing happily.”
Physicians hope to pressure Quebec’s Liberal government to renovate
their ER. In the seven videos they’ve posted on YouTube and on a
separate website, Langlais and Dr. Tony Assouline tour their ER,
pointing out shortcomings.
Assouline points out mould on the ceiling, hallways crowded with
hospital beds, and old, outdated equipment. He says the emergency room
hasn’t been renovated for more than 25 years.
One of the videos shows mould in a ceiling vent. While rooms for
patients with infectious diseases should be hermetically sealed, in this
hospital, some isolation rooms are just beds surrounded by a curtain,
the doctors said.
Langlais says the ER conditions haven’t harmed patients yet. But the ER
no longer fulfills provincial standards, and they say they’ve been
lobbying for renovations since 2004.Langlais said the hospital submitted
renovation plans to the government in May 2010.
The hospital was supposed to get a response within two months, but he
said that still hasn’t come. That’s why they decided to go public and go
online, Langlais said.
Health Minister Yves Bolduc said that he would not respond directly to
the LaSalle doctors’ campaign. He said that’s because an announcement on
a project involving the hospital is imminent.
“I believe that it’s a necessary project and I want to do it as soon as
possible,” said Bolduc.
Posted February 24, 2011