It's been just about a month since the MUHC opened the new "Glen" site super-hospital in NDG. Consolidating the services of the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Children's Hospital, and the Montreal Chest Institute, for those of you who haven't seen it yet, this new $1.3 billion complex can be intimidating. That's why we've put together a quick list of things you should know before visiting the Glen so that if you need to go there, you'll know what to expect.
1. How to get there
For those using public transport, it's located right by the Vendome metro station. Unfortunately, the underground tunnel linking the hospital to the station has not been opened yet (it's due to open sometime in June). Controversially, the tunnel will have wheelchair access that ends at the parking lot rather than inside the hospital itself. Another tunnel will be built linking the metro to the hospital with wheelchair access, but construction has yet to begin. For those with reduced mobility, take bus 77 from Lionel Groulx metro (which also has wheelchair access - see the STM schedule for these specific buses).
The parking situation is complicated, with the cost of parking ranging from $10 for 30 minutes, with $5 charged every additional half-hour, up to a maximum of $25 for any visit between 90 minutes and 24 hours. The zoning in the residential areas surrounding the hospital has changed, so if you're looking for free parking in an emergency, you'll have to park pretty far from the hospital. Although, if you're visiting a friend or relative during their stay, this might be your best bet. Reduced rates are available for patients and their family experiencing on-going treatments.
3. Hospital cards
If you're visiting the Glen for the first time, you'll need a new hospital card. Ones you have left over from the Royal Vic will not be accepted, so if you have an appointment, go early. You can get your cards at the admitting office near the main entrance. If you have to use the Emergency Room, a card will be made for you during your visit.
If you're already seeing a doctor at the Royal Vic, the Children's Hospital, or the Chest Institute, your doctor shouldn't change - as long as their department has been transferred over to the Glen. Meanwhile, some services have moved over to the Montreal General. If you're confused about who's where, check out this MUHC list of the various department locations here.
5. Psychiatric emergencies
In case of a mental health emergency, your first action should always be to call Info-Sante (8-1-1) who can inform you as to where you should go. You can visit the psychiatric ward of the Glen which is now open and/or the Douglas or Montreal General, which has expanded their mental health department with a short-stay unit. The Allan Memorial Institute is still open at the Royal Vic site for the time-being if you currently see a counsellor there.
6. Wait times
Just because the Glen is new doesn't mean that the emergency room is going to be any quicker than it was at the Royal Vic. Unless you have a really serious emergency, you can expect the same kind of wait times you got at the Vic. Again, if you're not sure you need to visit emergency or not, call 8-1-1.
7. Air Conditioning
Yes, the Glen is totally air conditioned, so if you're in for a long emergency room wait to get a cast or something like that, you can do it in relative comfort.
Montreal's becoming increasingly WiFi friendly these days and that extends to the Glen, which has free WiFi all over the hospital for its visitors.