7/4/12

Hospitals re-admit 1 in 12 patients within 30 days


Hospital patients are being pushed out of hospital too quickly and hospital workers have long seen the sorry result for patients.  So it is not so surprising that the Canadian Institute for Health Information reports that 1 in 12 patients are back in an inpatient bed within 30 days of being discharged from hospital .

Canada is a low end outlier in terms of hospital beds, with half of the international norm for acute care on a per capita basis. Ontario is even lower, having cut 30,000 hospital beds in the last 30 years.  Ontario had three times more hospital beds per capita 30 years ago than it does now.   Accordingly, Ontario hospital bed occupancy is off the charts compared to other developed nations.   That in itself is very dangerous.

Worse, the Ontario government plans to cut hospital capacity further.  Ontario hospital inpatient capacity has fallen 33.5% in the last 15 years.  We now have the lowest hospital inpatient capacity per capita of all the provinces – indeed, even the next lowest province has quite a bit more capacity.

Ontario spends less per capita on health care than the rest of Canada.  This is entirely due to the low spending on the hospital sector.  

Health Minister  Deb Matthews continues to spin the nice sounding fairy tale that we can continue to cut hospital services simply by increasing home care (even while her government has reduced home health care services and slowed the increase in home support services).  The reality is the lack of adequate home care is only one small part of a much bigger problem.

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