Is it the end of an era for Quebec City’s oldest hospital?

Is it the end of an era for Quebec City’s oldest hospital?

Main pic: Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu de Québec. Photo credit: Alex Bruchez

Quebec City (Quebec) 29 January 2015 – Quebec’s health minister announced this week that L’Hôtel-Dieu, Quebec’s oldest hospital, and possibly the oldest in Canada, will be stopping its activities once the mega-hospital at L’Enfant-Jésus is up and running.

The hospital, under the supervision of the Augustine sisters, started treating patients in 1639 and has had certain expansion projects since then by using surrounding buildings connected by underground tunnels.

The building itself is among one of the oldest in the city and has undergone many updates in the last few years.

There have been many rumours about what would happen to the hospital in the last 10 years and it appears a decision has finally been made.

The hospital in some ways is too old and too cramped to support any more renovations and when cost studies were done it seemed more reasonable to simply close or change its vocation than to try and buy up and renovate the surrounding buildings.

The hospital is not on a major bus route either, which makes getting there a problem, and even by car, the parking situation is not the best.

Some of the Augustine nuns who are still there are upset by the decision but are hoping that the building and its facilities will be used for a home for the elderly, or at least for some kind of health service centre for the region’s aging population.

Minister Barrette is suggesting that the hospital become a new super clinic for out-patients and consultation but, that normal surgery and hospitalisation of patients be conducted elsewhere.

The mayor, Régis Labeaume doesn’t seem too upset by the decision stating only that whatever is done with the building, the government should try and at least maintain a certain number of employees, whether medical or other government workers, so that the old city maintains a certain vitality for the local commerce.

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