Céline Laferrière, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and microbiologist at Sainte-Justine Hospital, inspects surplus medical equipment which she hopes to ship to needy hostpitals in the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Photo Credit: Radio Canada

Quebec superhospital move benefits developing countries

When the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, along with McGill University’s hospital teaching operation, and the Montreal Children’s hospital moved into the new McGill University Hospital Centre (MUHC)superhospital, it was seen as an opportunity to upgrade a lot of equipment.

Although replaced by newer equipment, the suplus material is still highly sophisticated and will be extremely useful © Radio-Canada

“Wow! It’s incredible! “ Dr Celine Laferriere

However, much of the replaced equipment was far from being outdated and still very useful. But what to do with it?

Locations around the world where medical equipment from Canada has been donated through CSI © RadioCanada

From beds to wheelchairs, to operating instruments to sophisticated electronic equipment of all kinds, a vast warehouse of valuable medical equipment is now being stored by Collaboration Santé International (CSI). It is the only organization that is accredited to store such equipment which has been distributed

Another room in the warehouse contains shelves full of valuable operating tools © Radi0-Canada

Céline Laferrière, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Sainte-Justine Hospital  and Jean-Chrysostome Zoloshi, and African priest from Montreal have visited hospitals in the Democratic Republic of Congo and said the need there was great. They are planning to send a large boatload of the equipment to a hospital in the DRC.

An enthusiastic Jean-Chrysostome Zoloshi says “It’s going to give a second life to all this equipment…For people in Congo, it’s like new, © Radio-Canada

They recently inspected some of the available material (with more to come) and was excited at what was available. “wow, It’s incredible” she exclaimed.  Equally enthusiastic at how this valuable equipment would be used in the DRC,  Jean-Chrysostome Zoloshi said the equipment will get a useful second life, saying there it will be like new.

“I’ve seen women giving birth on bare metal tables with a bit of cardboard place under their head for comfort” C. Laferriere © Radio-Canada

The CEO of CSI, Pierrette Defoy-Dolbec, told Radio-Canada “A few years ago, when the Ministry of Health replaced mechanical beds with electric beds, we recovered 5,000 beds. We were able to send them all over the world” . They also received thousands of surplus masks and gloves not needed after the HINI crisis.

Another room in the warehouse contains shelves full of valuable operating tools © Radi0-Canada

Pierrette Defoy-Dolbec, says that the MUCH, and its French-speaking equivalent the CUSM, are making more lists of surplus equipment as they continue the process of centralizing operations in the new superhospital also known as the “Glen” site with the Montreal Thoracic Surgery Research centre set to complete it’s move this summer, and the Saint-Luc, Hotel Dieu, and Notre Dame operations to move in the fall of 2016.

Dr Laferrier, JC Zoloshi, and Pierrette Defoy-Dolbec examine some of the equipment that will soon benefit hospitals in developing countries © Thomas Gerbet- Radio Canada

With files from Radio-Canada /Thomas Gerbet

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