Struggling with a strained healthcare system, Ontario on Thursday released a plan to ease the burden on the province’s hospitals.
Specifically, the Ford administration will introduce a bill that will help patients whose doctors say they no longer need hospital treatment to be transferred to a long-term care center, which isn’t necessarily their first choice.
These “alternative care patients” occupy thousands of hospital beds across the province, while many of them should be cared for in CHSLDs instead. According to that globe and mailthere were nearly 5,000 in Ontario in May, up 1,700 from the same time last year.
“We will not force the patient to leave the hospital, but the law will allow us to speak to the patient,” Long Care Minister Paul Calandra said.
This isn’t the first time the Ford government has taken such action. In August 2021, the province amended the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Law for the same reasons. However, the measure can only be used in larger traffic jams.
The Ontario government estimates it can relieve 2,500 hospitals thanks to measures proposed Thursday.
The province will also increase its use of independent health facilities to reduce the number of backlogs in the province. “We will first look at places where the infrastructure is already in place,” said Health Minister Sylvia Jones.
to defend administration
In a report released in February, the Ontario Medical Association found that one million surgeries were missed between February 2020 and December 2021.
The government will also invest more to increase the number of surgeries covered by OHIP in existing children’s hospitals and private clinics. Health Secretary Sylvia Jones, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, insisted Ontario residents “always have access to health care through their health card,” not their credit card.
Mme Jones and Premier Doug Ford have been defending their management of the province’s health care system for several days. Almost 25 hospitals had to reduce their activities in July and August due to staff shortages. The Premier gave assurances earlier this month that all Ontarians are receiving the care they need, a claim that has been questioned by some medical professionals.
This story is supported by the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Canadian government.
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