Quebec’s former health minister is telling a coroner’s inquest that the province did not massively transfer elderly patients to long-term care homes to free up hospital beds at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Quebec government has faced criticism for its decision to transfer patients from hospitals to understaffed and under-equipped care homes, which were devastated during the first wave of COVID-19.
Dr. Jacques Ramsay, who is assisting coroner Géhane Kamel in her investigation, told McCann that the number of transfers may seem small, but was “significant.”
He says many long-term care homes, known as CHSLDs, would go on to have trouble creating separate zones for infected and non-infected patients because of the high number of residents.
McCann says the government decided that transferring patients to long-term care homes would help protect them from catching COVID-19 in hospitals.