Completely overwhelmed by the dramatic situation at the CHSLD Herron, one of the co-owners, Samantha Chowieri, had to call 811 because no one answered her at the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal while the pandemic was raging in Quebec in March 2020.
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The manager and her husband called this number normally reserved for the general public twice for support, on March 28 and 29, 2020.
“Today it overflows a little with the employees. There are a few patients that we feel sick, we would need a helping hand, ”explains Ms. Chowieri to the nurse on the phone.
“What are your questions because I am just screening for COVID-19”, answers the nurse.
“We call all the phone numbers, everyone hangs up on us, tells us they can’t help us! We were told to call public health and the CIUSSS if it overflowed. We don’t have a specific number to call. We need support from the CIUSSS, I don’t know if there is someone you could contact? We and a CHSLD and we still have users at risk, ”insists the manager of Herron, which houses 150 residents.
The nurse tries to understand: “We told you that if it deteriorates to call on public health, is that it?”
Listen to Richard Martineau’s interview with Me Paul Brunet on QUB radio:
“To appeal to the CIUSSS, at this point no one answers,” laments Ms. Chowieri.
The next day it was her husband’s turn to call 811.
“They told us to call you to get people to come and screen here for residents. We have over 166 beds. We are out of breath here, I have a lack of staff, I need to do a screening, I have three cases which have been confirmed, ”explains the spouse.
“The CIUSSS told us to call your number,” he adds.
47 residents had died at the CHSLD Herron at the height of the first wave of COVID-19 in this private establishment whose management had been blamed in an investigation report.