The management of the Center-de-la-Mauricie hospital in Shawinigan has been trying to get rid of a colony of rats for several months. While the problems initially seemed to be centered in the kitchen area, other departments were also receiving unwanted visitors.
Professional exterminators have been hired and have been on site three times a week for the past 12 weeks. However, their services have been in demand for some time, confirms the spokesman for the Integrated University Center for Health and Social Services of the Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec (CIUSSS MCQ), Guillaume Cliche.
Normally, a pest control team carries out preventive checks every month. Lots of observations and
bigger catches in May, forced the facility’s management to draw up an action plan.
Our service provider installed hatches and looked for possible access points around the kitchenhe explains.
The problem is not new. Sources familiar with the matter told us that animals were observed in the hospital’s kitchens, dining room and certain floors last fall.
These animals are agile and can squeeze through the smallest of spaces. THE CIUSSS confirms that excrement has been found or rats seen more recently in various departments, including obstetrics and intensive care.
In June we intensified our action plan. We took a tour of the entire building. We added more hatches throughout the building up to the sixth floorsays Guillaume Cliche.
He adds that by the CIUSSS MCQ were able to locate at least one entry point for the animals, including a burrow outside the hospital near the kitchen walls.
We demolished the structure and sealed all of the entrances we identified. We’ve increased the number of traps and tripled their frequency of inspection. By plugging up all possible entrances, we also plugged up all possible exits for the animals that were inside. For this reason, our actions will continue until October to ensure that the issue is properly resolved.confirms the director of technical and logistic services of the CIUSSS MCQFranco Tomas.
Since May, 30 rats have been trapped in and around the hospital. According to Mr. Tomas, the actions of the last few weeks have paid off as only two animals have been caught in the last three weeks.
A complaint with MAPAQ?
Shawinigan Hospital staff were ordered to throw out any food potentially contaminated by the presence of rodents, however, according to Guillaume Cliche, nothing should have been thrown in the trash.
It’s a bit sad to find rats in a hospital. On February 7th we intervened with the employer. Some follow-up checks were done with the managers, but we haven’t had any feedback from the managers since. Since then we haven’t heard anything. It cannot last for a long period of time, we cannot have health problems in a hospitalrages the President of the Syndicate of Paratechnical Personnel, Auxiliary Services and Trades of CIUSSS MCQMarie-Josée Hamelin, representing the kitchen staff.
She mentions that she will not hesitate to ask the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) for intervention if the problem persists.
The presence of rodents is not indicative of sanitation or sanitation issues. Rather, they are parasites that lurk outside, trying to seek shelter or food. This is not a hygiene issue, we are very careful at this levelreplies Mr. Tomas.
The management of CIUSSS MCQ believes that paving work on a nearby car park and works on the sewage system may have changed the behavior of the animals.
The presence of rats in large buildings would not be uncommon.
THE CIUSSS confirms having recently regained control of a similar situation at the Center Cloutier-du Rivage in Trois-Rivières.
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