While François Legault declares that Justin Trudeau has refused to substantially increase health transfers for the provinces and territories and speaks of a missed appointment, the Prime Minister of Canada asserts that he is committed to increasing its share of funding.
Health Minister Christian Dubé says he made the right decision by closing restaurants in red zones this fall. Public Health suggested leaving the dining rooms open by limiting access to family bubbles. Caution had to be exercised, he said, to avoid losing control of the health system with the second wave.
The CHSLDs were the blind spot in the preparation for the pandemic by the Legault government. This is the conclusion of the Ombudsperson, who tabled a devastating report today. Marie Rinfret believes that were not equipped to fight COVID-19 and that the institutions were disorganized for lack of managers. She made five recommendations, including providing for a sufficient number of staff. The instructions of the health network will also have to be clearer and easily applicable in the future.
The director of Public Health in Montreal is considering recommending that the government allow outdoor gatherings during the holiday season. Dr. Mylène Drouin plans in particular to reopen low-risk places that would meet the population’s need to socialize. Ms. Drouin believes that it will take creativity to allow people to keep in touch with their loved ones, despite the pandemic.
The COVID-19 Outbreak
The COVID-19 outbreak at Lakeshore General Hospital in West Montreal continues to grow. 35 patients and 23 employees have received a positive diagnosis since November 25. Four units are considered to be in an outbreak; the emergency is not one of them even though at least four nurses in this department have contracted the virus.
The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 could drop sharply from the end of January in Quebec with the arrival of the vaccine according to François Legault. The Prime Minister thinks that all residents of CHSLDs and private seniors’ residences could be vaccinated from the first month of the year. 70% of pandemic-related deaths take place in these locations. Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 yesterday.