The history of the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex can be traced back to 1894 when it used to be the Montreal Homeopathic Hospital. This institution which was reputed for its devoted nurses and efficient management 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 modern complex is currently located.
This hospital was the home of many firsts. For example, in 1942 curare was first used in clinical anaesthesia, 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 Montreal, 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 building was officially opened by the Premier of Quebec, Jean Lesage. It was “Canada’s largest little hospital”. The renovations had taken three years to complete and completely modernized the hospital facilities.
In June 1995, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) became one of the Montreal-area acute-care hospitals to be slated for closure in response to a directive from the provincial government to cut the costs of health care provision. In the following year, the QEH Board of Directors, the QEH Foundation and other bodies and individuals in the community joined forces and decided to take matters into their own hands by forming the Centre-West Community Health Corporation (CWCHC) which became incorporated in June 1996. This project allows for the continued delivery of acute care services as well as the supply of 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 whose purpose was to provide as many medical and health promotion services to its community as possible on the premises of the former QEH. 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. Its mission is to provide efficient, readily accessible medical services, complementary and alternative therapy, as well as emotional and mental health services that will contribute to improving the health of our community in accordance with the policies and guidelines of the Government of Quebec.
At a time when we are actively searching for tangible and long-term solutions to our health care needs, the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex (QEHC) offers an innovative and efficient health care model, providing a diverse range of community health care services - all under one roof. Ensuring ready access to both medical and alternative health services, the QEHC is an attractive option to avoid the overcrowding, delays and other inconveniences so often experienced in hospitals and CLSCs.