Montreal has been forced to scramble to find alternative ways to care for its residents who are dying of COVID-19.
A new bed-rental service called Hospira will start taking orders by March 20 and is expected to serve about 100 beds.
The service is a pilot project and will not be rolled out nationwide, but the city has a limited supply of beds and needs to get them to the right people.
The Montreal Hospitality Association (MHCA) has been working with the company to find ways to help them stay afloat.
“The problem is we have not seen a lot of beds that are in need of being used in a hospital environment,” said Marie-Laure Joffe, the MHCA’s executive director.
“The more beds we have, the more patients we can get.”
The MHCA is asking for a minimum of 250 beds for the pilot project, which will initially cover 10 beds.
The organization is seeking additional donations to support the cost of the project, including $100,000 from the government and $300,000 for the company.
“We are really trying to get a better sense of what the demand is,” said Joffen.
“We are trying to look at what the supply is.”
Hospira will only rent out beds that the hospital has reserved, meaning if you are unable to find a room you will need to wait for someone to rent one.
“Our hope is that we can find a space that is affordable for people to live in,” said Jessica DeLuca, a spokeswoman for the MHIA.
The MHCA has already received several offers, but will need additional help from the city to get the beds in the right places.
T.M., the company that will operate Hospira, has only started accepting new orders.
The company says they have about 300 beds available.
“For us, we’re in the middle of the epidemic and it’s not going to be easy,” said DeLucas.
Hospitality association spokeswoman Jessica De Luca said the MHRA needs more beds in order to keep people warm.
(CBC News)The MHIA says it will need $150,000 to cover the cost for the project.
It’s also asking for an additional $10,000 a month from the provincial government for up to four years.
“If you are not able to get access to a bed, we want you to find another space,” said Julie Vadum, the CEO of the MHDA.
“But it’s important to know that there are beds available that you can use.”
The project is the brainchild of Joffea, who said she is hoping to get at least 10 beds in operation by the end of the month.
Hosier Health Minister Sylvie Barrette told CBC Montreal that the company has already started accepting orders and the company is expecting to be fully operational by the start of the spring.
“In this day and age, with the increase in COVID and the pandemic, the need for more beds is greater than ever,” said Barrette.
“Hospier Health is committed to finding more beds to provide additional support to our patients.”
The province will only pay for the cost if the beds are in a secure location, which means the city will have to make some concessions to get it all together.
“This is an incredibly challenging task and we need the help of everyone in our community, especially our health-care workers and staff,” said Health Minister Fabien Bouchard.
“This is not a question of if, but when, and we must continue to work together to ensure that our communities are protected and our hospitals are equipped to meet the unprecedented needs of the people of Montreal.”