Each CHSLD resident who wants an air conditioner in their room can request it, free of charge, assured Marguerite Blais on Tuesday, in response to a study which revealed that less than half of the rooms in this type of establishment are equipped with an air conditioner.
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The results of the survey conducted by the Quebec Association of Retired Public and Parapublic Sectors (AQRP) show that 45.9% of rooms are air-conditioned by CHSLD-type establishments in the province. Compared to 2021, this is a slight increase of 2.5%.
If this number may seem low, the Minister responsible for Seniors and Caregivers ensures that air conditioners are available for all CHSLD residents who wish.
“Not all residents want an air conditioner in their room. But those who request one can have one installed quickly and free of charge. The CI(U)SSS have air conditioners in sufficient quantity to meet demand,” said Minister Blais’ office in an email to QMI Agency.
In addition, all CISSSs and CIUSSSs have set up “refuge zones”, recalled Marguerite Blais in an interview with LCN on Tuesday.
The AQPR survey also revealed significant disparities between regions. For example, only 0.7% of rooms would be air-conditioned in CHSLDs in Gaspésie, whereas 99.5% of rooms in establishments of this type in Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec are equipped with Air conditioning.
"Perhaps in the Gaspé it's a little cooler, and people want air conditioning less," commented Marguerite Blais to LCN.
Some CHSLDs are dilapidated, and this represents a challenge for the government, agreed Marguerite Blais. “We are rebuilding 23 of them, and all the CHSLDs rebuilt will have central air conditioning,” she assured.
In addition, the Minister pointed out that the asset maintenance and functional renovation budgets for CHSLDs have been increased over the past two years.
“We added huge sums. Previously, it was $40 million for functional renovations annually that the CISSSs and CIUSSSs had to share. Over the past 2 years, $190 million and $150 million this year (...), because I had this firm desire that all people who want an air conditioner in their room can have it, "said the minister.