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Coroner Géhane Kamel denounces the failure of the health system

In addition to the CHSLD Herron file, coroner Géhane Kamel does not blame the management of the first wave in CHSLDs. Her report filed three days ago rather denounces the failure of the health system and the distance between the ministry and “the field”, she defended Thursday to the press. “This report must be used so that it never happens again! »

“Our most vulnerable seniors have been in the blind spot of our governments. They were in the blind spot of society, ”she decided after 69 days of hearings and listening to more than 200 witnesses, including bereaved families and high-ranking state officials.

This disastrous blind spot was mainly fueled by “the gap between the ministry and the field”.

Blind to the dramas unfolding in the CHSLDs of Quebec, the decision-makers could not maneuver to limit the carnage of the first wave, thus denounced the coroner Kamel.

“The agility of the health system” must therefore increase, she insisted. The “countless number” of ministerial directives, sometimes changing from day to day, took “hours, even days” to be heard by employees on the front lines. “It’s not normal for doctors, citizens or employees to feel obliged to go through the media to get things moving. My message to the government: find a way to speak with your land. »

Because in the care centers, it is not the determination of the staff that has been lacking, according to the Dr Jacques Ramsay, coroner’s assessor during this inquest. “For every time we heard a difficult thing, we saw a glimmer of hope. We heard from people dedicated to their work, from families taking care of their elders, from managers who found it excessively difficult. […] After 35 years of working in our healthcare system, I still have hope for our network. »

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The end of the claimed privacy

Among his 23 recommendations, Mr.e Kamel believes in particular that the model of entirely private seniors’ centers belongs to the past. of these establishments. “It is not normal that in CHSLDs not under agreement, there are people who are paid less than at the Tim Horton’s,” Jacques Ramsay was indignant at his side.

In the same way, “contracting” private CHSLDs by imposing the same standards as in the public sector would open up “a regulatory lens” to predict future tragedies.

As for the CHSLD Herron, symbol of the crisis, the coroner directly targeted “the chicanery” and the “lawyer’s letters” sent on both sides while patients were dying at the same time. “People have failed. Whether it is the owners, the CIUSSS or the ministry. It’s undeniable. People passed the ball. For the rest, I have no complaints as such, but there are certainly lessons to be learned. »

Géhane Kamel claims to have “got to the bottom of things” with his report and was not constrained by politics. “I have great hope that these recommendations will not end up on the shelf. This report must be the beginning of something to change the perspective we have of the care of our seniors in Quebec. I think it was heard. »

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