GATINEAU -- The Intensive Care Unit at the Gatineau Hospital reopened on Wednesday, three days after it was forced to close due to an unexpected shortage of nurses.

On Saturday, the Centre integre de sante et de services sociaux de i'Outaouais (CISSSO) announced service in the ICU would be suspended as of 12 a.m. Sunday due to a shortage of nurses. All patients in the Gatineau Hospital ICU were transferred to other hospitals in the Outaouais region.

On Wednesday, the CISSSO announced the ICU reopened at the Gatineau Hospital following the reassignment of nurses already trained to work in intensive care.

The CISSS de l'Outaouais says it is continuing its efforts to increase resources for the Gatineau Hospital ICU, including:

  • Calling on retired nurses who have worked in intensive care
  • Offering all nurses in the ICU at the Gatineau Hospital a full-time job upgrade
  • Explore the possibility of borrowing nurses from other establishments across Quebec temporarily
  • Call for independent labour agencies with nurses qualified to work in intensive care

The CISSS de l'Outaouais says it is confident that the reopening of the Gatineau Hospital ICU is sustainable in order to provide quality care and services to residents.

The union representing nurses in Gatineau told CTV News Ottawa on Sunday that nurses were burnt out.

"For many months now, there has been an issue with the Intensive Care Unit in Gatineau, they're understaffed and overworked," said Patrick Guay, President of the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de l'Outaouais.

Guay said nurses have had no choice but to work overtime.