February 7th, 2018

NDP to Premier Wynne: Code zeros are alarming and put Hamilton families at risk

On Wednesday, NDP Health critic France Gélinas issued the following statement regarding severe hospital overcrowding, leading to unavailable ambulances in Hamilton:

“Blaming chronic overcrowding and ambulances shortages on flu season shows that Kathleen Wynne and her Minister of Health aren’t taking health care workers or patients seriously. Dismissing the concerns of front line workers and paramedics is just wrong – we simply have to do better.

In Hamilton, patients are laying on stretchers in ERs or gurneys in hospital hallways, enduring long waits while hospitals are badly overcrowded. That has led to code zeros, meaning ambulances are unable to unload patients into overcrowded emergency rooms, leaving no ambulance or just one ambulance available for medical emergencies in the entire city of Hamilton. It means ambulances aren’t there for families when they urgently need them.

On 32 occasions last month alone, Hamiltonians were put into a dangerous position, with code zeros leaving them vulnerable. Urgent care should never have come to this and simply doesn’t need to be this way.

Andrea Horwath and the NDP has long called on Kathleen Wynne to do the right thing, make hospitals and health care a priority, and fix hospital gridlock and hallway medicine, but Wynne refuses to act – doing even more damage by shortchanging hospitals by $300 million in last year’s budget.

New Democrats are ready to listen to health care workers and first responders and deliver care that families can count on. Andrea Horwath will end hospital cuts, put a moratorium on layoffs and fix the funding shortfalls that are making health care worse year over year.”