LACHINE, QC, March 7, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Committee to Save the Lachine Hospital MUHC welcomes with relief the decision from Health Minister Réjean Hébert, who today announced that the Lachine Hospital will remain an integral part of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). The Minister endorses the main recommendation of Dr. Richard Lemieux, appointed last January by the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal to study the situation of the Lachine Hospital.
In December 2012 and early January 2013, the Health Minister had expressed concern about the future of the Lachine Hospital within the MUHC after some stakeholders raised the issue with him.
The proposal caused an outcry in the community. As a result, the Committee to Save the Lachine Hospital of the MUHC - a citizen movement - was formed on January 14, 2013. Made up of elected representatives from the region, including François Ouimet, the MNA for Marquette, Lachine Mayor Claude Dauphin, Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau, Jacques Filion, chairman of the Lachine Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, and several community representatives, the Committee was able to establish itself quickly and work together with local residents who had already begun expressing their opposition. More than 11,000 signatures were collected in two months in support of a petition to keep the Lachine Hospital within the MUHC.
The Committee to Save the Lachine Hospital of the MUHC would like to thank Dr. Lemieux and Health Minister Dr. Réjean Hébert for having accelerated the consultation and decision-making timeframe, which was initially expected to run until May 2013. The Committee also wishes to express its gratitude to both men for genuinely listening to the concerns that were voiced during the consultation period.
François Ouimet, MNA for Marquette, welcomed the Minister's decision by saying: "The survival of the Lachine Hospital for the benefit of our community has been hard-won, after several years of uncertainty. Now that the hospital's development is well underway and its status as a community hospital is confirmed, we must ensure that the promised investments and agreed contractual commitments are met as soon as possible."
Mayor Rouleau said he is "very pleased" with the Minister's decision. "As written in Dr. Lemieux's report on the recommendations for the future of the Lachine Hospital, memories of past disagreements are still very fresh in everyone's minds. Peace remains delicate. This is something we've seen play out in the past and I hope, on behalf of my fellow citizens, patients and families in Dorval, that it will not happen again."
Jacques Filion, chairman of the Lachine Hospital's board of directors, also congratulated Minister Hebert and Dr. Lemieux. "The decision will allow us to truly celebrate this centennial year of the Lachine Hospital, an important event for this facility and the community it serves. On May 4th, we will organize the Centennial Ball, a prestigious fundraiser to benefit the Lachine division of The Best Care for Life Campaign, which has a goal of raising $3 million for the modernization and expansion of the Lachine Hospital. So far, $2.5 million has been raised. I am confident this decision will have a positive impact on donations."
Mayor Dauphin also welcomed the Minister's decision. "I am very proud of the entire Lachine community, particularly the patients and staff of the Lachine Hospital. By mobilizing so quickly, we were able to win this battle. I now invite members of the community to actively participate in the future of our hospital, which continues to provide excellent care. In 2008, the government pledged $63 million for the modernization and expansion of the Lachine Hospital. The Committee to Save the Lachine Hospital of the MUHC will now transition into a supervisory committee, responsible for ensuring that this work is carried out."
As Dr. Lemieux wrote in his report, "The MUHC has transformed the Lachine Hospital into an institution in the midst of modernization. The redevelopment plans for care and services at the hospital prove this. The Lachine Hospital has been saved."
SOURCE: Committee to Save the Lachine Hospital of the MUHC
For further information:
Anne Le Bel
Attachée politique for Marquette MNA François Ouimet
Office: 514 634-9720
Cell: 514 571-3313
Cell: 514 892-5200