October 4th, 2017

Tillsonburg Hospital operating above safe capacity

Today Ontario NDP Health critic MPP FranceGélinasreleased new information that shows constant overcrowding at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital (TDMH) – even reaching 123 per cent capacity in acute care – and called on Kathleen Wynne to undo the damage she has done to Ontario’s hospitals.

 The Tillsonburg documents are the latest in a long string of papers obtained by the NDP that show hospitals around the province are horribly overcrowded.

 “We know now that yet another hospital is being forced by this Liberal government to operate well above safe capacity,” saidGélinas.“As too many Tillsonburg residents know, TDMH patients wait for hours. They lay on gurneys in hallways.

 “Decades of cuts from both the Conservatives and Liberals pushed this hospital too far, and dangerous overcrowding and hallway medicine are now the new normal, in Tillsonburg and across Ontario. That has to change – and it can change. We can do so much better for patients and families.”

 The documents Gélinasreleased were acquired by the NDP through Freedom of Information requests. They show TDMH operating above safe capacity throughout 2017, with acute care beds operating as high as 123 per cent in January 2017 and not falling below 112 per cent between January and May. Internal documents previously released by the NDP show similar overcrowding and hallway medicine in Brampton, Etobicoke and numerous Toronto Hospitals.

 Gélinas said before the Liberal cuts and freezes in hospitals, the Conservatives gutted care in Ontario.

 “The last Conservative government fired 6,000 nurses, closed 28 hospitals and over 7,000 hospital beds. Wynne piled on damage with years of frozen hospital budgets and further cuts, including underfunding hospitals by at least $300 million this year alone,” saidGélinas.

 Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has committed that she would 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 universal pharmacare program. Providing drug coverage for everyone – regardless of age, income or health history – can improve health outcomes, and reduce demand on emergency and hospital services.