Hospitals to Open More Beds

Hospitals to Open More Beds

"This funding comes as hospitals are preparing for an annual increase in demand due to the approaching flu season", the release states.

"Given the extraordinary pressures now facing Ontario's health-care system, it is imperative that hospitals, home and community service providers and government work together and do everything possible to ensure that Ontarians have appropriate access to health services".

However, the Ontario Hospital Association, in a news release welcoming it, described it as "a surge plan" to assist hospitals and community care sectors in addressing high patient volumes over the coming winter.

Much of the announcement is aimed at moving "alternate-level-of-care patients" out of the hospital.

A leader of the union representing front-line health-care workers said the added beds are a "step in the right direction" and Monday's announcement was "positive and welcome", but there is still some more information needed from the government.

Numerous province's 143 hospitals were well over 100 per cent full last winter, and for some, the demand has not subsided.

The new hospital beds across the province will be added ahead of the flu season, which is anticipated to be hard this winter, Hoskins said.

Those hospitals in Ontario that are equipped to open beds will be doing so within a matter of days, the MPP said, while others will do so during the next two to three weeks.

"Ontario needs a long-term plan to rebuild capacity in our public hospitals to meet population need", said coalition executive director Natalie Mehra.

"There's not yet the capacity outside of the hospital's four walls to discharge them in a timely manner", Dale said.

The beds in Kingston are among 2,000 new patient beds and spaces that are to be created across the province.

This past year has been a particularly tough one for hospitals. The council's president, Michael Hurley, said it is very disappointing the province had decided to choose to implement a temporary fix instead off something more lasting.

The province has delivered a "substantial" injection of additional bed space - 167 in local hospitals and home care - to ease the seasonal flu-related patient surge that previous year created an over-capacity crisis at Windsor Regional Hospital. "They're sitting on stretchers outside in crammed and busy hallways, which is hardly ideal".

$1.5-million of that announcement will go to Windsor Regional Hospital.

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