Sudbury reduces hospital ALC problem -- by opening new beds

As part of the recent public relations campaign by Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), the CEO of the Northeast LHIN, Louise Paquette, has told Northern Life that they have reduced the number of alternate level of care patients in the four largest northeast hospitals by half. 

The article discusses in more detail the situation in Sudbury.  Here the hospital says the number of alternate level of care (ALC) patients has fallen from a high of 190 to 210 ALC patients to just 91 ALC patients.  That would mean a reduction of somewhere between 99 and 119 ALC patients. 

Sounds impressive, right?  Well here's the interesting part.  The hospital CEO credits the reduction to the opening of 116 long term care beds at St. Gabriel's and Pioneer Manor. 

The government is practically allergic to opening new beds in hospitals or LTC facilities no matter how much the demand. So, this solution is definitely not typical.

And notably, the numbers suggest that the government's much bragged about ALC strategy ('Aging at Home' or as some call it, 'Aging Alone') did not play a major role.  

In fact, other factors (like the Aging at Home) may have actually added 17 patients to the hospital ALC rolls:  i.e. a reduction of only 99 ALC patients in the hospital despite the addition of 116 LTC beds.

This is more evidence that new beds are going to have to be a significant part of the solution to the hospital overload problem -- along, of course, with more public home care services. 

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