Health care in the Outaouais

Proof that health care in the Outaouais does indeed suck: Gatineau’s hospital scored the lowest in L’Actualité’s report on 86 Quebec hospitals, with a score of 32 per cent. Hull’s wasn’t much better, at 42 per cent.

Note, however, that the hospital in Shawville scored 87 per cent. We’re enough of a health-care bright spot in this region that our doctors and our hospital have their hands full with patients from the city — exactly the opposite of what you’d expect from a rural hospital. Of course, when you recall that a large number of Gatineau residents simply cross the river to Ontario for their medical care, you quickly realize just how dire the situation must be.

The hospital spokesman protests that the data are out of date and that the situation is different. This is the usual bureaucratic defence: our more recent, internal numbers are different and show we’ve improved. Of course, the public numbers usually run a year or two behind, so it’s a perfect defence: no matter how bad the numbers look, you can always say they’ve improved, so long as no one remembers what you said last year. Sir Humphrey would be pleased.