During the past several days, you may have read or heard news reports about efforts by the JGH to reduce its volume of patients. We are taking this step to maintain the high quality and continuity of care that we offer our patients, since we now see too many patients for the funding that we receive. Our actions are aligned with plans by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to balance patient volumes in Montreal hospitals on and off the island.
The urgent need to reduce volumes is not unique to the JGH; hospitals across Montreal are under the same pressure. This can be achieved, in part, by filling the available capacity that exists in some of the other hospitals. For this reason, the government is allocating funding to the Charles LeMoyne Hospital and the Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital in Laval, among others, to strengthen and broaden the quality and range of their services for patients who live in their area.
The JGH has also begun to encourage patients to seek medical care closer to home if services of similar quality are offered at a nearby hospital. In this way, sick patients would avoid not only a lengthy trip to and from the JGH, but the longer waiting lists at our hospital.
Of course, it is not our intention to force anyone to go elsewhere. Patients who choose to receive their treatment and care at the JGH have the right to do so.
Hartley Stern, M.D.
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