Difficult for the disabled to the new CHUM

News 11 December, 2017
  • Matthew Payen

    Monday, December 11, 2017 01:00

    Monday, December 11, 2017 01:00

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    Doors difficult to open, toilets were ill-suited and check-in kiosks too high. A real obstacle course was waiting for a woman a quadriplegic during a medical appointment in the new CHUM.

    Claire Savage will long be remembered for his first visit to the hospital is brand new, built at a cost of $ 3.1 billion. “Just think, I’m angry. I was traumatized, ” said the woman, however accustomed to the difficulties of life in a wheelchair since she lives with for 30 years.

    On November 20, Ms. Savage was an x-ray of the bladder in anticipation of a possible transaction. Cautious, she had called the hospital before to ensure that everything was accessible to his wheelchair. It is even finish with 45 minutes of time on the day of his appointment.

    “It is very important that I’m able to do things by myself, so I organize,” she said.

    Despite his precautions, his journey to the hospital was transformed into an obstacle course as we can see in the photo-reportage in these two pages.


    “This is the kind of problems that do not notice a valid person. But a hospital all nine should be an example in terms of accessibility, ” says Walter Zelaya, the director-general of the organization spinal Cord injury and mobility Quebec that convinced Mrs. Savage to make a complaint to the CHUM.

    Mr. Zelaya claims to be intervened with the government four years ago to ensure that accessibility would be taken into account in the new hospital.

    Photo courtesy

    Walter Zelaya

    Spinal cord and mobility Quebec

    Today, he said he was disappointed to see that several elements have not been well thought out.

    Ms. Savage hopes that her approach will help to avoid situations vexantes, as when she had to climb up on the examination table. The table being too high and not adjustable, the radiologic technologist told her that she would be transferred with a lift.

    “It’s insulting, cowardly, she says. The up-to-person, it is for the quadriplegic complete. Me, I’m doing with my arms in order to change the seat, it is the little autonomy that remains to me. “

    The problems encountered by Ms. Savage, the CHUM acknowledges that there are defects to correct. “During the delivery of the hospital, we found that some access were not consistent for people living with a disability, indicates the hospital by e-mail. Audits are conducted on a regular basis and other adjustments will be made. “

    As Claire Savage, she anxiously awaits the results of his x-rays.

    “If I have to have surgery, it will be here and it scares me,” she said. I want to be certain not to be subjected to new stress. “

    An “obstacle course”

    Claire Savage has agreed to return to the service where she spent her x-rays to show the Log to the access problems she encountered.

    1. Check-in kiosk too high

    Photo Pierre-Paul Poulin

    In the hospital state of the art, there are more attendants at the counters to check-in. Now, just drag his medicare card in a terminal. Except that these terminals arrive at the level of the head of people in wheelchairs, without the possibility of the lower. “I couldn’t see what was written on the screen, I had to ask for help,” says Clare Savage.

    2. Doors that are too heavy

    Photo Pierre-Paul Poulin

    In attempting to access the service where she was to spend her x-rays, Clare Savage found herself stuck in a corridor by a heavy door.

    The Journal has been able to see that some doors are permanently opened, others have buttons for automatic opening, but several must be taken. “I have little strength in the arm, so I’m forced to push with my wheelchair. But by doing that, I damage the support-feet, ” said Ms. Savage showing us the damage done to his chair.

    3. Toilet poorly adapted

    Photo Pierre-Paul Poulin

    While waiting for her appointment, Claire Savage has had a desire urgent, but she realized that the washroom reserved for people with reduced mobility are far facilitate the task. Door is hard to open, toilet too low, the grab bars too far apart, soap and hand towel placed too high. “I spent 30 minutes inside. I was afraid of falling and find myself on the ground, panties down. I was angry, stressed and to get out, it has been necessary that I ask for help, ” said Ms. Savage.

    Photo Pierre-Paul Poulin

    Photo Pierre-Paul Poulin