here are the services that will be affected at the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS

In a press conference held Thursday morning, senior management of the CIUSSS detailed the various transformations of the services offered by the establishment this summer.

In total, 174 beds will be closed at the CIUSSS, including around 140 in hospitalization and around thirty others in accommodation (CHSLD). Please note, however, that the service cutoff dates and restart dates are different: some beds will be closed from the end of May, while others will remain available until June.

Moreover, all mental health beds in the Estrie region will remain available.

Otherwise, the collection centers are less affected than last year by the modulation of services. If eight of these centers had been closed in the summer of 2023, there are three this year: the site on Argyll Street, in Sherbrooke, for which there is no longer availability on ClicSanté, and those of La Patrie and of Lac-Brome (June 17 to September 8).


The director of human resources of the CIUSSS, Yann Belzile, and the two deputy directors general Karine Duchaineau and Annie Boisvert participated in the press conference. (Jean Roy/La Tribune)

On the operating theater side, the situation will be less stressful than last year: six rooms out of nine will remain open at the Fleurimont Hospital, unlike five in 2023. The Magog hospital block will see two of its rooms remain open . Last year, all four rooms were closed.

The local service points, which replaced the vaccination centers, will remain open all summer in the Estrie region, except that of Magog, which will be closed from June 16 to September 8. These points of service make it possible to screen for certain diseases, including group A streptococcus.

To see the detailed list of the different services which will be modulated this summer at the CIUSSS by sector of activity and by RLS, you can consult the official information sheets of the establishment here.


The situation will be better than last year in the region’s operating theaters. (Jocelyn Riendeau/Archives La Tribune)

Community services affected

Services closer to the community will also be impacted by the holidays.

For example, each user receiving care or support at home will be assigned a pivotal worker with whom they will agree on a modulation of their services during the summer.

Day activity centers for people living with autism, intellectual disabilities or physical disabilities will all be closed from July 21 to August 17.

Asked why one of the few resources for this clientele closes year after year during the summer period, the deputy general director of the CIUSSS for social and rehabilitation programs, Karine Duchaineau, explains that it is “only a question of human resources”.

“It’s true that this is a clientele that has a lot of needs. Partnerships will be made with community organizations to ensure a minimum service offering,” she adds.

And these centers are not the only sectors of activity that will deal with a hazardous workforce situation.

>>>Karine Duchaineau recognizes that the DI-TSA-DP clientele has serious needs: partnerships with community organizations will be concluded this summer.>>>

Karine Duchaineau recognizes that the DI-TSA-DP clientele has serious needs: partnerships with community organizations will be concluded this summer. (Jean Roy/La Tribune)

This year, there should be up to 2,000 vacant positions at the CIUSSS due to the holidays, unlike the 1,500 last year, explains the establishment’s human resources director, Yann Belzile.

Despite this, the CIUSSS was able to add 4,000 days of vacation and cope with a less significant modulation of services than what it initially planned last year. “Next year, [la modulation] will be more accentuated,” remarked a director of the organization in 2023.

This situation is made possible in particular by the space that will be made for independent workers this summer. Remember that the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS must, by October 2025, completely cease its use of this workforce.

“We will not put too much pressure on eliminating the independent workforce during the summer. You heard it well, we have a difficult situation before us,” notes Mr. Belzile.

He also confirms that the CIUSSS will move forward with a call for volunteers among its employees so that they can lend a helping hand to the Côte-Nord and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions, as reported The gallery Wednesday.

“We have our own situation in Estrie which is not easy. But, in full solidarity with our colleagues from these regions, […] we had to make an effort,” underlines Yann Belzile, who indicates that the CIUSSS may have to adapt if several workers leave for other regions temporarily.

>>>Yann Belzile presented the establishment's plan for the independent workforce to the media this summer.>>>

Yann Belzile presented the establishment’s plan for the independent workforce to the media this summer. (Jean Roy/La Tribune)


The president of the CHUS Users’ Committee, Dr. Claude Lemoine, welcomes the fact that the modulations are expected to be less than initially expected.

“It’s good for users to sometimes have good news from the CIUSSS,” says Dr. Lemoine.

“So much the better if the situation is better than expected,” he adds. Is the difference that noticeable? I don’t know, but at least she’s there. We’re used to it going from bad to worse, so it’s good news.”

Such modulations are, he points out, “inevitable”, because not making them would require a complete absence of summer vacation for network workers.

>>>Dr Claude Lemoine, president of the CHUS Users Committee.>>>

Dr Claude Lemoine, president of the CHUS Users Committee. (Frédéric Côté/Archives La Tribune)

For her part, the interim president of the Union of Healthcare Professionals of the Eastern Townships, Stéphanie Goulet, also believes that the worst was avoided this year.

“It’s a bit of a copy and paste from last year. Three weeks ago, we were still being told that it would be worse than that, but another turn of the wheel was given by the managers and it worked,” mentions the one who represents the nurses, practical nurses and respiratory therapists of the Estrie.

If she says she is doubtful about the figure of 4,000 more vacation days available, Ms. Goulet recognizes that improvements have been made to the vacation calendar, which is advantageous for workers.

“The question I ask myself,” she continues, “is how many beds whose closure was announced were already closed. There are beds that never reopened after last summer’s adjustments, notably in Magog, Granby and at the Hôtel-Dieu.

Asked about the day activity centers, the national representative of the APTS-Estrie, Danny Roulx, affirms that, although we are depriving a resource of a clientele in need, a closure of approximately four weeks l Summer is relatively standard in Estrie for this type of establishment.



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