Judge sympathetic but won't keep Lachine clinic open

A Quebec Superior Court justice has refused to issue a temporary injunction to keep the Lachine Hospital's gynecology clinic open for a little while longer while doctors and patients fight to prevent services from being permanently transferred to the LaSalle Hospital.

The clinic was shut as of April 1 with the final appointments last week.

Three doctors and two patients had sought the injunction arguing that several hundred women were caught off guard and would be left in the lurch without proper services.

Judge Michèle Monast ruled that the lawyer for the doctors and patients did not show there was an urgency in granting the injunction or that there was any prejudice suffered since the evidence showed different measures were put in place to avoid a rupture in services.  

The lawyer for the doctors had said that many patients disapproved of the clinic's closure, and that they were very concerned about their medical follow-up and about getting to LaSalle Hospital, 7 km away.

Monast said the details outlined by the MUHC director of professional services adequately responded to these concerns and that while "a change of this nature could lead to disappointments and concerns, they are not sufficient motives to justify issuing a temporary injunction at this stage." The judge said this included measures to help patients with reduced mobility get to the LaSalle Hospital.

A disappointed Dr.Paul Saba - who was leading the charge to keep the clinic open -said at least these measures are now in writing. Saba said they will study the ruling to decide their next step which could include a permanent injunction.

Dr. Paul Saba disappointed judge didn’t grant them temporary injunction to keep gynecology clinic at Lachine hospital open for a little while longer but at least the ruling says that the hospital is ensuring services are provided though that remains to be seen. #CJAD800 pic.twitter.com/lN6WwAgEQt

— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) April 2, 2019

The MUHC had said they wanted to regroup urology services at the Lachine Hospital -transferring gynecological services to LaSalle Hospital -  and that this was part of ongoing discussions over the years.