St. Bernard’s Hospital is a long way from downtown Montreal.
It’s a short drive from the border with the U.S. The hospital, located on the north side of the island of Saint-François, is a small hospital with only a handful of beds.
In a city of more than 15 million, the hospital’s population is about 5,000, a fraction of the city’s 6 million people.
The health care system on St. Joseph’s Island is so poor that it’s one of only a few hospitals in the province with fewer than 20 beds, according to data from the Department of Health and Long-Term Care.
That means hospitals have a hard time accommodating patients.
In order to manage the high volume of patients, St. Francis has been providing long-term care to some of the hardest hit by the flu.
But it also means the hospital has been struggling with how to manage its patients, said nurse Laura Zimmet.
The flu season is typically a slow and intense one, but Zimmat said there have been more than 50 cases this year, and that the hospital is expecting more.
“It’s not just our hospital,” Zimmeter said.
“People are dying because of the flu in St. Joe’s Island.
People are dying from it in other hospitals, as well.”
Zimmyt, the nurse, said the hospital staff had been working to address a few things during the flu season: making sure everyone who was admitted had the flu vaccine, taking precautions to keep them comfortable, and getting the flu vaccination to those who didn’t have it yet.
The most difficult part of the work was dealing with those patients who were coming in who were in critical condition, Zimmeister said.
The nurses had to do everything possible to make sure the patients could be transferred to the other hospital in order to keep the infection at bay.
“I’m just hoping we get to where we’re able to manage those patients in a timely fashion,” Zommet said.
But some of those patients might not be able to be transferred quickly enough.
For example, some people who are critically ill, like those who are infected with pneumonia, may not be allowed to be transported because the hospital does not have enough beds.
“When you have patients who are not getting the influenza vaccine, you can’t take them to the hospital,” said nurse Zimmit.
Zimmic said she believes the hospital could have made some of these changes sooner, but it’s just too difficult to say whether it would have been as effective if they hadn’t made the changes.
“They could have done a better job of making sure they were putting people into the right beds and getting them on the right medicine,” she said.
And while the hospital said it is now treating more patients who do have flu, the number of people being admitted in critical or serious condition is still high.
Zommyt said it’s not uncommon for St. Francis Hospital to see more than 60 to 80 patients a day.
But as of last week, only about 10 people had been admitted to the hospitals intensive care unit and only one of those had been transferred, Zommit said.
Zemmet, the health care worker, said she hopes St. Jerome Hospital can make a major change soon.
“We just want to get people in there, to see if we can make it happen,” Zemmyt told CBC News.
“Because it’s been too long and it’s too hard.”