Windsor Essex has lost over 120 hospital beds. That might just explain the bed crisis

There is a pretty simple explanation of the Windsor Essex hospital bed crisis: the provincial government has forced the closure of a lot of hospital beds in the area.

In 1995-96 there was 1,183 hospital beds at the three hospitals in the area.

Now, Windsor Regional Hospital claims 669 (for the year ended March 2010); Hotel Dieu, 305; and Leamington District something less than 88.  So now there is somewhere less than 1,062 beds in Windsor Essex.

That is a 10.2% reduction in the number of beds.

And this probably underestimates the cuts.  Leamington District, as far as I can find, does not report the current number of beds, but rather reports that they had 88 beds several years ago and then cut staff and beds.  Moreover, the start year noted above, 1995-96, was already six years into the massive beds cuts during the Harris and Rae governments.  Indeed, by 1996, about a quarter of the province's beds that existed in 1990 were gone. It's possible that Windsor Essex escaped these early cuts -- but not likely.

In fact, the number of beds in Windsor Essex now is less than the number of beds proposed by the Mike Harris government.


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