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REACTION: Large geriatric clinics bear no resemblance to the mini-hospitals that were promised

Montreal, April 16, 2024 – By switching from private mini-hospitals to geriatric clinics, the Legault government is breaking its election promise, says a researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.

“During the last election, the CAQ did not pledge to create two clinics for the elderly. They promised two mini-hospitals, accessible to all, with emergency rooms and operating theatres,” commented Emmanuelle B. Faubert, an economist at the MEI. “When you visit Quebec’s emergency rooms, you can see that long waiting times affect all age groups, not just the elderly.

“This broken promise is bad news for Quebecers, who will continue to languish for hours in the province’s emergency rooms.”

When the project was announced in September of 2022, the CAQ pledged that each new centre would include the following services:

  • An FMG open 7 days a week;
  • Minor emergency open 24 hours a day;
  • Operating rooms for day surgeries;
  • Technical facilities including a pharmacy, sampling centre and radiology department.

The altered version presented today by the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, consists instead of geriatric walk-in clinics offering outpatient services tailored to the needs of the elderly.

An IEDM-Ipsos poll published last week showed that 73% of Quebecers support the mini-hospital project.

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank with offices in Montreal and Calgary. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship.

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