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If 83% bed occupancy is too high what about 98%?

A leading Welsh doctor has warned of hospital bed cuts. Dr Richard Lewis, Welsh secretary of the British Medical Association, said the bed cuts could put patients at greater risk of catching a serious hospital infection.

Dr Lewis told the Daily Post, “we know patients are still waiting on trolleys to find beds; elective surgery is being cancelled because of pressure on beds." Calling the cuts "unacceptable," Dr Lewis added, “There’s a clear link between hospital-acquired infections, the overcrowding of beds and high bed occupancy rates.”

According to the most recent government figures, Welsh hospital bed occupancy is 82.5%. The government reports 13,116 hospital beds in Wales,  or one bed for every 229 people in the nation of just over 3 million.

That however is far, FAR better than in Ontario, which is running at an astronomical 97.9% bed occupancy (after the elimination of about 18,500 beds, one-third of the total, since 1991). With 30,810 beds and 13,210,600 population in 2010, Ontario has one bed for every 429 people.

Too bad the leaders of the Ontario Medical Association don't raise some of the concerns raised by the Welsh doctors. We certainly need it.

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