The veterans’ hospital located in Ste. Anne de Bellevue announced the closing of another 33-bed unit while the federal and provincial governments announced this week that the transfer of the hospital would be completed on Sept. 30. The unit will be closed April 1.
Unit C-10 will be the third one since 2009 to be closed at the Ste. Anne de Bellevue hospital while the Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe Claire remains as crowded as ever. The Chronicle reported last year that non-veteran patients were to commence being admitted at the hospital on March 31 of this year. It was announced this week by both the federal and provincial governments that the transfer would be finalized Sept. 30.
Following the announce of the unit closure last week, Union of Veterans Affairs Canada (UVAE) national president Yvan Thauvette told The Chronicle he felt negotiations weren’t moving fast enough while his union, who represents the workers of the hospital, was being kept in the dark. He asked for the creation of a committee to allow unions to have access to more information about the negotiations.
“Since there are no additional veterans to take care of, I say to the province: if you want to grab the Ste. Anne hospital with all of its employees, you’d better be quick about it because we keep losing units, we’re losing expertise and personnel. These people won’t be back,” he said.
The general assumption when the transfer of the hospital to the province was announced last year was that the facility would be turned into a multi-vocational centre under the direction of the West Island Health and Social Services Centre (HSSC) enabling it to free up space at the Lakeshore General Hospital while continuing to serve veterans.
The HSSC’s new director Benoît Morin commented the upcoming transfer of the veterans' hospital in Ste. Anne, from federal to provincial recently but did not provide any insight on when an agreement would be reached.
"We were asked to host the Ste. Anne in a more or less distant future. It will be an important vehicle for the development and construction of health care and social services for the population," he said.