October 31st, 2017

One Ontario hospital saw 4,352 patients in hallways last year

Wynne Libs won’t admit there’s an overcrowding crisis

On Tuesday, the Ontario NDP released new information that shows between April 2016 and April 2017 Brampton Civic Hospital treated 4,352 patients in its hallways as a result of overcrowding.

This shocking information comes on the heels of the Wynne Liberals’ feeble announcement of just six temporary new beds for the hospital last week.

“The premier and her Liberal government just don’t get it. They do not grasp the severity of the overcrowding and hallway medicine crisis inside Ontario’s hospitals,” said Horwath. “This crisis has been years in the making, caused by Liberal budget cuts and freezes piled on top of Conservative budget cuts and freezes. It’s absolutely disgusting that health care in Ontario is coming to this.”

In addition to the 4,352 patients who were treated on hallways last year at Brampton Civic, the internal memo written by the CEO of the William Osler Health System and obtained by the NDP also notes an occupancy rate of 114 per cent, an average of 33 admitted patients per day waiting in the ER for a bed, and hallway stays of between 40 and 70 hours.

Brampton Civic’s Emergency Room was built to serve 90,000 visits annually, but last year the ER saw 138,000 visits. In the first four months of 2017, code gridlock was called eight times, for a total of 65 days. The hospital was built with 18 operating rooms, but 10 years later, two of those ORs have never been used, because the government has not funded their operation.

“This crisis in our hospitals is the result of years of cuts, underfunding, and a stunning lack of leadership by this Liberal government and their Conservative predecessors,” said Horwath. “The Wynne government’s offer of a few temporary beds falls so far short of what is actually needed, it just shows that she doesn’t get it. She has let patients down again and again.”

The last Conservative government fired 6,000 nurses, closed 28 hospitals and over 7,000 hospital beds. The Wynne Liberals have further disappointed patients with further hospital cuts and years of budget freezes. This year alone the Liberal government underfunded hospitals by at least $300 million.

Horwath has committed to properly fund Ontario hospitals, including a guarantee that hospital funding will always – at a minimum – keep up with inflation, population growth, and the unique health needs of each community, each year. Horwath has also called for a moratorium on layoffs of nurses and frontline care providers, and introduced a plan to create Ontario’s first pharmacare program, a drug plan that will cover everyone – regardless of age, income or health history. Pharmacare can improve health outcomes, and reduce demand on emergency and hospital services.