Toronto hospital stops trying to charge patients $1800 a day

Sunnybrook Hospital vice-president Craig DuHamel conceded in the Toronto Star today ("Pay $1,800 a day or get out: Hospital") that  it was a mistake to have told a patient she might have to pay $1,800 a day to stay in her hospital bed. 

The "bed-refusal" practice was an ill-conceived idea introduced sometime last year "as a last resort" to move large numbers of patients through the hospital, he explains. "It's one of those things that, I think, you look at all kinds of strategies to help free up beds and not all of them are the best idea," he says.

Sunnybrook halted the practice late last year after the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly warned it contravened the Health Insurance Act. DuHamel says some staffers obviously didn't get the message.

"It's definitely coercive," says Jane Meadus, counsel for the advocacy centre, adding that the organization received about 160 similar complaints last year.

Yet the practice continues elsewhere... 


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