Martin C. Barry
CISSS de Laval, which is the agency that oversees management of public health and social services in the Laval region, finished its latest fiscal year with a deficit of $2,747,565, the CISSS board reported during their annual general meeting at Cité de la Santé on Nov. 15.
Most revenue from Quebec
“What we are presenting to you today is an abbreviated version of the significant accomplishments of the CISSS de Laval over the last year,” said CISSS de Laval president and executive-director Caroline Barbir, adding that a complete version of the annual report in digital format can be downloaded from the CISSS de Laval website.
According to figures outlining revenues and expenses at CISSS de Laval for the period ending last March 31, the agency had total revenues of $894,551, 329, of which $803,230,141 were subsidies received from the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services.
A $2.75 million shortfall
More than $90 million in revenue was from user fees and other sources. Most of the CISSS’s expenses were from salaries ($525,146,934), and more than $75 million for medications and medical supplies. In the end, expenses exceeded revenues by nearly $2.75 million.
Of the $24,213,174 the agency allotted in the last fiscal year to affiliated health and social service community organizations in Laval, the largest amount ($5,553,321) was to groups dealing with mental health issues, followed by general health and social services ($4,255,507), support for seniors with loss of autonomy ($4,202,067) and troubled youths ($3,581,149). The smallest amount ($1,047,591) was allotted to organizations in Laval dealing with substance abuse problems.
Emergency waits down
According to Barbir, the CISSS succeeded last year in reducing emergency department waiting times by 2.2 hours compared to 2016-17 and “we continue to work on this issue.”
As well, she continued, the CISSS’s implementation of a nurse practitioner program (through which registered nurses could take additional training to enable them to prescribe some medications) was completed successfully by 90 per cent of the nurses who applied.
Signing up for family doctors
During the same period, the CISSS succeeded in persuading more than 22,000 Laval residents to sign up to become patients of family practitioners, for an increase of 4.7 per cent, raising the number of residents now enrolled to 77.1 per cent.
In terms of providing palliative care services, CISSS de Laval provided this service to 943 persons for a 3.5 per cent increase over the previous year. For services involving intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders, the CISSS says that since 2016-17 they were able to reduce the average wait time by 102 days for such services for children less than 5 years old.
Six psychologists hired
For psychiatric services, they say 13 additional beds for short-term mental illness stays have been made available. As well, more than six new employment positions were created for psychologists in this sector of activity within the CISSS.
For its formal user complaints procedures, the CISSS de Laval reported a drastic rise in the number of general complaints filed by service users in 2017-18 (724), compared to 2016-17 (482). There was an 88 per cent increase in the number of complaints (77) of a medical nature.
In all, 65 complaint files were dealt, with 19 being the subject of recommendations on how to improve services. Conversely, 28 complaint files were rejected. Out of all the complaints, only four were referred to CISSS authorities for possible disciplinary measures. The department that was primarily the target of the complaints was the emergency.