6/21/10

LTC wait times triple since 2005. Health care injury rates higher than construction and mining

Some interesting observations from the Ontario Health Quality Council in its recent report:


• Despite a major increase in LTC beds several years ago, wait times for an LTC bed have tripled since the spring of 2005 and are now at 105 days (over three months). For those waiting in the community, the wait is 173 days; for those waiting in hospital, it is 53 days. The latter contributes to the growth of ALC beds in hospitals. Only 40% of those needing LTC care got their first choice of home when placed for the first time.
• One in four people placed in LTC could potentially be cared for in alternative settings.
• There has been no major improvement in injury rates for health care employees in the past six years.  Although hospitals have lower injury rates than other sectors, such as LTC, overall healthcare has higher injury rates than other industries, such as construction and mining.

The increase in LTC wait times should be no big surprise: as reported earlier, the government has slowed the creation of new LTC beds to a trickle. It may be that they, like the Quality Council, are looking at the 25% of LTC residents and thinking they should be elsewhere (presumably somewhere cheaper). 

The summary of the Quality Council report is at http://www.ohqc.ca/pdfs/1-introduction_and_summaries_en.pdf and the full report at http://www.ohqc.ca/en/yearlyreport.php -- Doug

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