10/19/10

Sudbury hospital beds to close? Hospital overcrowding threat

The Sudbury Regional Hospital has been operating 100 transitional beds for patients who no longer need acute care services at one of its old sites -- the Memorial Hospital.  (The Memorial had been one of the main sites for the hospital until a new facility opened earlier this year.) 

Opening beds for such patients at underutilized hospital sites has been a modest trend in the past year, as high hospital bed occupancy chokes up the hospitals. 

Northern Life reports the hospital is opening thirty more such beds at the Memorial site -- but without provincial funding.  Hospital vice-president Dave McNeil suggests this is going to cause significant budget problems for the hospital.

Worse, all the Memorial beds are slated to close April 1, 2011, as funding commitments run out. In June, the Sudbury Regional Hospital board recommended that the site be kept open until 2013. 

And yet currently, the hospital sometimes moves in to triple over-capacity (which means housing patients in in television rooms and the like). 

CUPE Local 1623 president, Dave Shelefontiuk notes, "There is tremendous pressure on all staff -- from cleaners who have beds to do, to porters who transfer patients, to clerical workers who are pushed to open up beds."


dallan@cupe.ca

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