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More than 100 patients transferred to newly opened Montreal superhospital

October 08, 2017 - 11:51 AM

Montreal's new French-language superhospital opened its emergency room at exactly 5 a.m. Sunday, at the very same moment that a 109-year-old hospital down the street was closing its doors for good.

At 7 a.m., Fatima Radics and her two-day-old baby Ophelia became the first patients to arrive at the hospital as part of a major operation to transfer patients to the newly-built Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal, or CHUM.

On Sunday, it took just over three hours to transfer 113 patients from the aging Saint-Luc Hospital.

They included five babies, four intensive care patients, and a pregnant woman in labour, according to the hospital's president.

Danielle Fleury said the historic move was made quietly and without celebration.

"When we do a transfer it has to be calm, no nervousness, to reassure everyone that (the process) can be trusted," she told reporters outside.

At 12:30 p.m., the first baby was born at the new facility, the hospital announced early Sunday afternoon.

Over 600 volunteers and medical professionals were on hand to help with the move. A special passageway was erected between the two institutions to help with the transfer.

The effort was co-ordinated by Health Care Relocation, a company that specializes in hospital moves.

President Patrick Moriarty said his company has spent about two years preparing the operation, which he said was planned "down to the minute" to ensure it took place with no interruption to patient services.

"It was a funny thing, but (the move) was really quiet," he said. "It's amazing to see one facility go to sleep and another come awake at the same instant."

Sunday also marked the official closure of Saint-Luc, which was founded in 1908 by a doctor who wanted to treat children in need.

It was the first in the city to offer 24-hour emergency services regardless of race, language or religion, according to the CHUM.

"I'm sure some people felt a pang (as they left)," Fleury said, adding that some staff members wrote farewell messages on the old hospital's walls.

Saint-Luc is the first of three hospitals to be incorporated into the new hospital.

Hotel-Dieu's transfer is scheduled for Nov. 5 and Notre-Dame's for Nov. 26.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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