7/21/11

No Vacancy: Ontario Health Coalition Finds Hospital Overcrowding Untenable

 An Ontario Health Coalition report released today finds that Ontario has the fewest hospital beds per person of all provinces in Canada. The result is serious hospital overcrowding that puts patients at risk.

 “Ontario’s hospital occupancy levels are at untenable levels, far above other comparable jurisdictions. For patients, this means a higher risk of hospital infections, cancelled surgeries, backlogged ERs, not enough staff, and patients waiting on stretchers for hours or even days,” said Natalie Mehra, director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “Yet Ontario has not done a systematic study to assess hospital occupancy and determine the appropriate number of hospital beds needed.”

“Part of the solution is to create a cross-province plan to enhance home care and long term care to meet community need. But an important part of the solution also is for Ontario’s government to restore hospital bed capacity with sufficient funding and evidence-based targets to reduce hospital overcrowding across Ontario," she concluded.

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