Failures in MUHC laboratories: the PQ calls for an investigation
As the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) lags behind by nearly 20,000 analysis tests that have been accumulating in laboratory refrigerators since 2021, the Parti Québécois (PQ) is calling for an investigation by the Auditor General into the management and performance of the project to reorganize medical biology laboratories, Optilab.
The news of this failure in the processing of tests at the MUHC was disclosed by Radio-Canada, to whom laboratory employees “worried about the health of the population” sent documents and photos making this revelation possible.
The PQ describes the situation as “disturbing” and fears the presence of similar cases in other establishments in the province.
“The situation is scandalous, unworthy of our health system, in addition to putting the health and even the lives of patients at risk. This mess is attributable to the Optilab centralization project, initiated by the Liberals and now defended by the CAQ,” asserts Parti Québécois spokesperson for health and social services, Joël Arseneau.
Après les pertes d’échantillons et les multiples dysfonctionnements, on apprend que plus de 20,000 tests dorment dans des frigos du CUSM.
La pointe de l’iceberg?
Il faut cesser de défendre l’indéfendable et mener une enquête sur le projet Optilab.#polqchttps://t.co/j1TIMXdkAm
— Joël Arseneau (@joel_arseneau) March 23, 2023
The failure of Optilab
The PQ considers that the centralization of laboratory tests is a failure and launches a new call for a decentralization of laboratories in Quebec. The party had, at the beginning of March, issued a shower of criticism of this system which it considers responsible for “harmful consequences for patients”, “the extension of delays”, and “the loss of samples” .
The exodus of laboratory technicians would also be one of the consequences of Optilab, according to the PQ.
“Centralization has exploded deadlines, multiplied malfunctions and increased the work of technicians to the point where resignations and early retirements are multiplying. It’s dramatic because in the name of an erroneous vision of efficiency, without financial gain, the government tolerates that the health of workers and patients is compromised,’deplores Joël Arseneau.
In the skin of patients
The MNA for the Îles-de-la-Madeleine claims to put himself in the shoes of the patients of the Optilab cluster bringing together Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Baie-James, Nunavik and the west of the island of Montreal, who took knowledge this morning of the fate suffered by their analysis samples, “vulgarly piled up in a refrigerator”.
“Imagine: you are waiting for the results of a test you took in 2021 and when you open the news you realize that not only this test is probably out of date, but that in addition the people responsible for analyzing it are being forced to denounce the system, it is so badly going, ”he criticizes.
It’s terrifying, the health of thousands of people could be at stake. It is now impossible for the CAQ to ignore our repeated requests to completely review the Optilab project
Joël Arseneau, spokesperson for the Parti Québécois on of health and social services
Considering these revelations as “a new argument in support of the protection of whistleblowers”, the PQ asks the government to deploy mechanisms guaranteeing their safety, particularly “within the machinery of government”.
“The public and the media are increasingly dependent on whistleblowers who bravely risk their careers to bring the truth to light . The CAQ must take seriously our request to extend the scope of the law currently in force to allow whistleblowers to speak directly to the media without reprisals, starting now,” says Joël Arseneau.