MISE & Agrave; DAY
From the end of the first wave of the pandemic, Quebec already accounted for half of the deaths due to Covid-19 in Canada. As of June 1 st June 2020, 5,210 Quebecers had died, 70% of whom were living in private or public CHSLDs. & nbsp;
Several died alone, in atrocious conditions. They found themselves walled up in a parallel universe, hidden from the rest of society. This tragedy is no accident. & Nbsp;
It stems in part from the extreme neglect that the residents of these establishments have long suffered. It is in this context that the Legault government's reflex, like any other in Quebec would have done, was to prepare hospitals as they should, but not CHSLDs.
The report the Ombudsperson's final confirms this. How can we be surprised that, in its CHSLDs, Quebec, all things considered, had many more deaths than elsewhere in the country?
This choice, therefore, is not part of a dark intention. François Legault is not heartless. The huge machine of the Ministry of Health (MSSS), deranged by the Barrette reforms and conditioned for years to neglect its vulnerable clienteles, has simply not thought of it. & Nbsp; & nbsp;
Since then well before the pandemic, the MSSS was also crumbling under the debilitating weight of a mountain of organization charts, each more indecipherable than the next. Take the mind-blowing one you see here. & Nbsp; & nbsp;
Taken from the MSSS Plan of 2006 in the event of an influenza pandemic, it is supposed to explain the “coordination structure of the health and social services network”, which would be created to “manage” it. Do you understand something?
Two parallel universes
Since 2006, as at the federal level, the governments of Quebec have in fact had a plan to fight an influenza pandemic or any other highly contagious respiratory virus. Plans subsequently forgotten by subsequent governments.
The MSSS and its minister at the time, a certain Philippe Couillard, had prepared this plan. Updated in 2008, it was also updated at the last minute on March 9, 2020 – barely four days before the outbreak of the health emergency by Mr. Legault.
It is certain that the 2006 version, put together long before the ultra-centralizing reforms of Gaétan Barrette, is partly out of phase. This plan nevertheless provided the broad outlines of what had to be done BEFORE a pandemic strikes, including the supply of protective equipment for all of Quebec, infection prevention training, etc. & nbsp;
Once the pandemic broke out, he noted the vital importance that caregivers would have. Eh yes. Predicting that there could be as many as 8,500 dead in Quebec, he even explained how to dispose of the remains.
The 129-page plan stated that hospitals would have to be prepared. What the Legault government did well. And the CHSLDs? Unsurprisingly, this plan didn't say much. & Nbsp; & nbsp;
- Listen to Josée Legault at Sophie Durocher's microphone on QUB radio:
Worm in the apple
In vague terms, he asked the “accommodation communities” to have an internal emergency plan. Then, on the very last page, he mentions this which, since the first wave of Covid-19, seems to herald the slaughter of spring 2020: in seasonal influenza epidemics, outbreaks are already “especially” in CHSLDs. & Nbsp ;
Ah good ? As if it was normal. This suggests that during a pandemic it would be much worse. This great fragility of CHSLDs to infections, known to the MSSS, shouldn't it have required that they be actively prepared before the first wave of Covid?
The worm in the apple, it has been there, and since long before. Decision-makers and society had come to find it normal that our CHSLDs are “natural” centers of influenza, gastro, etc. outbreaks. Imagine the damage during a pandemic. & Nbsp;
However, this is not normal. If they are outbreaks, it is because many are dilapidated. And that there has been a long lack of staff, protective gear and infection prevention training. & Nbsp; & nbsp;
This deplorable reality, our governments and we had accepted. Out of fatalism, docility or indifference. To the very sick old people, we threw the remaining crumbs from the Public Treasury. & Nbsp;
So much so that, even upstream of the 1st wave, the decision-makers' reflex was to forget the CHSLDs. Because they are anyway. In this, the thousands of deaths and traumatized families serve a powerful lesson to governments and to society. & Nbsp;
In order to be able to say “never again”, it will be necessary to ensure that between crises, these so-called “living” environments are finally equal to the dignity to which the most fragile Quebecers are entitled. Don't forget, that's it.