7/11/11

Bed cuts and superbugs: 180 beds cut in St. Catharines

The total number of Niagara hospital beds (excluding West Lincoln hospital) was 1,315 in 1995-96 (this includes 149 at the former Hotel Dieu general hospital and 124 at the Shaver which became the Dieu).  

Facility
Acute
Psychiatry
Rehabilitation
Chronic

1995/96
1997/98
1995/96
1997/98
1995/96
1997/98
1995/96
1997/98
Niagara-on-the-Lake
18
9
-
-
-
-
20
11
Douglas Memorial
50
39
-
-
-
-
25
25
Port Colborne General
50
36
-
-
-
-
30
24
Shaver
-
-
-
-
22
22
102
102
West Lincoln Memorial
62
45
-
-
-
-
16
16
Welland County General
159
141
16
16
-
-
139
77
Greater Niagara General
173
173
29
29
-
-
48
48
Hรดtel Dieu
149
119


-
-
-
-
St. Catharines General
223
201
26
26
-
-
36
36
Total
884
763
71
71
22
22
416
339


Now, there are only 926 beds: 787 at Niagara Health Services (including addiction services but excluding NHS long term care beds) and 139 at the Hotel Dieu Shaver.  


So there has been a loss of 389 beds (1,315-926).  Put another way, there were 42% more beds in 1995-96.  

The St. Catharines General site of the Niagara Health System says it has “more than 200 Acute Care and Mental Health beds”.  That would be a reduction of from 398 acute and mental health beds in St. Catharines in 1995-96 (at the now closed Hotel Dieu site as well as the General). Assuming 220 beds at the General now,  means St. Catharines has approximately 180 fewer beds now or, put another way, they had 82% more beds in 1995-96. 

These figures are not particularly unusual for Ontario.  Certainly the high level of bed occupancy that has gone with these sorts of cuts is not unusual. 

But given the connection between high bed occupancy and superbug infection, I do find it unsettling that there is so little official concern about them. We are even beginning to hear these outbreaks called the "new normal".


Well, if you accept the bed cuts and the housekeeping cuts as normal, perhaps this is the new normal.  


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