The Ontario government withdrew funding for 30 ALC beds at the Memorial site of the Health Sciences North hospital in Sudbury.
The Sudbury Star reports that since the beds closed, the hospital has re-opened 6 or 7 beds at the Memorial site, paid for out of the hospital's own funds. In addition, the number of ALC patients at another site of the hospital has increased from 44 to 77 -- an increase of 33. On Friday, 18 people admitted to emergency were lying in cots awaiting a bed.
The result? The hospital is now designated in 'crisis' and to get it out of crisis, hospital patients will be given priority over people waiting at home for long term care beds.
The hospital beds for ALC seniors, the Star reports, cost $600-$700 per day -- more than twice the cost of ALC beds at Memorial.
The hospital is stuck paying this it seems while trying to eliminate a $9 million deficit by September 2012.
The government says its cuts are to provide better care for patients at home. In this case, what it really means is that patients in their homes will simply have to wait longer for a LTC bed.
The Liberal government plans to cut another 30 beds at the Memorial site next spring, as part of their reform plans.