06/05/2013 20:13 EDT | Updated 08/05/2013 05:12 EDT

Sacré-Coeur doctors say Quebec let hospital 'crumble to ruins'

The physicians' council at Sacré-Coeur Hospital in Montreal's Ahuntsic district says the province is letting the building "crumble to ruins."

The doctors say the provincial government has promised much-needed renovations and repairs to the hospital's infrastructure for years.

Dr. Patrick Bellemare says the council decided to take its complaints public after last weekend's heavy rains caused damage to the building's ventilation system.

The broken system led to an increase in humidity levels in several operating rooms — to the point where the equipment was no longer sterile.

Bellemare says 80 surgeries had to be cancelled. He said the estimated cost of replacing the damaged equipment is between two and four million dollars to replace the damaged equipment.

"We think that kind of money should be spent on patient care, not purchasing new medical equipment that has been destroyed," said Bellemare.

He says the hospital staff have been adapting, but the infrastructure problems are hurting patients. So far at least two patients have been transferred to other hospitals because of the conditions at Sacré-Coeur.

"We have to resort to all sorts of manoeuvres that are uncomfortable sometimes for patients and also for caregivers," said Bellemare.

Health minister Réjean Hebert could not be reached for comment.