01/12/2015 11:53 EST | Updated 03/14/2015 05:59 EDT

Quebec takes control of Gatineau CSSS after budget shortfall

Quebec's health ministry says it has taken temporary control over the regional health authority in charge of Gatineau's hospitals and health care services, after the local group fell into a budget deficit of $5.6 million.

The centre de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS) de Gatineau had filed a budget plan calling for a deficit of $4 million for 2014-15 and a balanced budget by 2015-16.

But the province said after the agency revealed the deficit would be closer to $5.6 million, it announced it was taking control of its operations for 180 days.

Health minister Gaétan Barrette said the provincial ministry will attempt to correct the agency's finances during this time.

The CSSS de Gatineau is the second largest CSSS in Quebec, and provides health care and services to 230,000 people in the Hull, Gatineau and Aylmer, as well as psychiatric care on a regional scale.

It operates the Hull, Gatineau and Pierre-Janet Hospitals, the Maison de naissance de l’Outaouais birthing centre and a number of health centres and residential care centres.