Leaked report suggests healthcare crisis worsening; smaller hospitals faring better

A leaked report on hospital executives by Liberal MPs warns Ontario’s health care system is only going to get worse due to an increase in respiratory illnesses.

The report, released by Liberal MPP and emergency room doctor Dr Adil Shamji, found that nine out of 10 emergency department patients admitted to hospital waited an average of 45 hours for an inpatient bed.

Shamji admits that it’s not just Ontario that is having trouble with health care.

“It’s not surprising to me that other jurisdictions are sharing some of the struggle, given the challenges of the past two-and-a-half years of this pandemic. Ours is worse,” Shamji said. “Because we don’t have leadership, and because we’re not dealing in any meaningful way with issues like our health workforce shortage, regulation of temporary for-profit nursing facilities, etc.”

While he blamed the crisis on a lack of leadership at the provincial level, Shamji said there was something everyone could do to help.

“One of the most important things we can do is make sure our flu and COVID-19 vaccinations are up to date, and I want to encourage everyone to do that,” he advised.

The report found that for central and western Ontario, hospitals at Gray Bruce Health Services and South Bruce Gray Health were well managed, particularly those in Walkerton and Markdale. Shamji explains why this is the case.

“If I’m not mistaken, the hospitals that are doing the best in the province right now are the very few hospitals,” Shamji said. “Any teaching hospital, pediatric hospital, or more complex hospital is doing worse.”

He urged the government to take immediate steps to reduce the burden on hospitals.

“They can significantly increase masking. They can significantly increase vaccinations. In the most problematic schools, they can significantly increase ventilation,” he said.

Shamji warned that the cold and flu season, which also includes COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), is now about eight weeks away from its peak.

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