By Kevin Woodhouse
Last week, Health Minister Dr. Gaetan Barette released a draft for Bill 10 that would see complete re-organization of the health care structure in an attempt to streamline services. For instance, the almost 200 different health establishments within the island of Montreal will be cut to 28.
For West Island residents, it will mean the coming together of the West Island Health and Social Services Centre with the ones currently operating in Dorval-Lachine-LaSalle, Verdun, the Douglas and Ste. Anne de Bellevue Veterans Hospitals, Centre Readaption de L’Ouest de Montreal (CROM), Batshaw Youth and Family Services and the Grace Dart Centre under the new banner of the CISSS (Centres intègres de sante et de services sociaux) de l’Ouest de l’île de Montréal.
The West Island HSSC director general Benoit Morin met with media representatives Monday afternoon to discuss Bill 10 and the impact on health care.
Morin noted that the bringing together of certain agencies will cut down on bureaucracy as each centre previously had a finance and HR department, something that can be cut. The new set up will serve a population of just over half a million with resources totaling about $925 million a year.
Morin believes that the new agency could be a blessing as “this could assure better fluidity of service and this is a first step from the minister of health.”
He cited the example of a family with a child who is mentally challenged and suffering from diabetes. “Before the family would have to deal with two separate agencies which can be confusing,” said Morin. “The objective is to make the client’s trajectory less complex.”
Morin added that the upcoming changes will not affect doctor or front line care services but instead offer patients more choice. Another example cited by Morin was the fact that Verdun has three rooms available for endoscopic services while the Lakeshore General has one and a waiting list. With the eight agencies under one umbrella, patients would have the choice of going to either hospital for their care.
“Clinics get clogged because doctors cannot offer diagnostic services right now,” said Morin. “Merging resources together can help a clinic access more services as well as establishing faster results as scattered services are harder to pool together.”
Morin believes Bill 10 will likely be adopted before the Christmas holidays in order to bring the transfer in April 2015. He did acknowledge that the transfer could take up to two years to complete but is hopeful that the new “model will yield results.”
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