Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Montréal, Québec)

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Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Montréal, Québec)

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The Queen Elizabeth Health Complex opened as the Montreal Homeopathic Hospital in 1894. A nursing school, named the Phillips' Training School for Nurses of the Montreal Homeopathic Hospital, was founded shortly after and graduated its first class in 1896. The hospital was situated on McGill College Avenue until 1927. At that time, the demand for more beds led to a public appeal for $500,000 which allowed the hospital to move to Marlowe Avenue, where the present complex is located.

The hospital was the home of many firsts, for example, in 1942, the muscle relaxant Curare was first used in clinical anesthesia, and in 1943, the hospital pioneered the first post-operative recovery room in Canada. By 1951, the impressive medical and surgical advances accomplished by the hospital allowed it to acquire the new name of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital of Montréal, in honour of the wife of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, who was soon to become the Queen Mother. In December 1961, the completely renovated and modernized building was officially opened by the Premier of Quebec, Jean Lesage. It was known as “Canada’s largest little hospital”.

In June 1995, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) became one of the Montreal-area hospitals to be slated for closure in response to a directive from the provincial government to cut the costs of health care provision. In 1996, the QEH Board of Directors, the QEH Foundation and other bodies and individuals in the community joined forces and decided to form the Centre-West Community Health Corporation (CWCHC), incorporated in June 1996. This project allowed for the continued delivery of emergency services as well as a full spectrum of services to care, share, prevent and cure. The CWCHC became a new, not-for-profit health organization with no government funding. The Queen Elizabeth Health Complex, under the management of the CWCHC, is therefore a reincarnation and a new legal form for a century-old community institution.


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