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Childbirth, cancer … Here is what changes with level 4 of the load shedding | Coronavirus


The health establishments of Estrie, Montérégie-Est and Mauricie-Center-du-Québec have obtained the green light from the government to move to level 4 of the load shedding, since the 50% reduction in surgeries (level 3 ) was not enough to stem the massive influx of COVID-19 patients into their hospitals.

To free up more beds, and especially nursing staff, other regions will move to level 4 in the next few days, announced Thursday, Assistant Deputy Minister Lucie Opatrny. The first to switch will be Lanaudière, Laurentides, Montérégie-Center and Montérégie-Ouest. Others Integrated health and social services center and Integrated university health and social services center will follow.

Dr. Lucie Opatrny at a press conference.

Dr. Lucie Opatrny is Assistant Deputy Minister in the General Directorate of University, Medical, Nursing and Pharmaceutical Affairs of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Sylvain Roy Roussel

But what does level 4 of load shedding mean in practice? In addition to postponing elective surgery as much as possible, the Quebec plan provides for changes in almost all areas of care to free up hospital capacity, and it is of course the clientele who will suffer the consequences.

Emergency rooms will close

Level 4 allows the closure of small, medium and large emergency rooms, when another emergency is nearby to redirect customers.

If you come to the emergency room for a less serious case (priorities 4 and 5), such as half of the normal visits, you may be referred to a clinic.

Another visible change in the emergency room: the paramedics may be required to lend a hand on their arrival at the hospital with a patient they continue to follow, in support of the nurses. The government made this possible in October.

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Change of region to be expected for pregnant women and babies

The deliveries will be concentrated in hospitals and midwives will join the obstetrics teams. Birthing centers will be called upon to carry out low-risk deliveries which should have taken place in a hospital environment.

The plan provides for pregnancy follow-ups to be relocated from small structures to larger ones, depending on the volume of activity and geographic particularities. Accommodation will be offered to parents who have to travel a long distance.

Once the baby is born, in neonatology, the plan provides for theorientation of the clientele according to the level of care and not according to the region of belonging.

In pediatrics, activities will be concentrated towards a regional service, but pediatric intensive care will not be affected.

Less cancer follow-ups

In oncology, people with a condition semi-urgent for whom inpatient treatment is not necessary may have their appointment postponed.

For cases ofstroke, infarction and trauma, activities will be concentrated on certain centers in order to promote the convergence of resources. Radiology will be reserved for patients on stretcher.

The frequency of hemodialysis treatments will be reassessed according to medical advice, without postponing an appointment, and in endoscopy, the deadlines will be reviewed and postponements of appointments will take place.

Regarding hemodynamics and electrophysiology, anything that is not urgent will be reduced at least.

Mental health relief

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is very careful with mental health and wants to maintain as many services as possible for adults and young people, considering the growing needs of the population. However, sanity will not escape the level 4 shedding completely.

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For example, non-urgent evaluations will be postponed in favor of urgent assessments only.

The government will also prioritize the use of private psychotherapy service purchases.

As far as social services are concerned, there will be no more social or psychological consultation, except in exceptional situations. People will be redirected to the Info-Social 811 line.

Level 4 of load shedding will be insufficient

All these postponements, concentrations and displacements will not even free up all the necessary resources in the Quebec health system to cope with this fifth wave. It was Assistant Deputy Minister Lucie Opatrny who confessed on Thursday.

4 will not be sufficient to obtain the hospital capacity that we will need to treat all the patients that we will have in the coming weeks “,” text “:” The level of load shedding4 will not be sufficient to obtain hospital capacity that we will need to treat all the patients we will have in the next few weeks “}}”>The level of load shedding 4 will not be sufficient to obtain the hospital capacity that we will need to treat all the patients that we will have in the coming weeks., she revealed.

Nearly 2,000 Quebecers are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and this number could increase to 3,000 within two weeks, according to the most recent projections. At the same time, 20,000 health workers are absent.

With the collaboration of Daniel Boily

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