Complaints about over crowding in Ontario hospitals aren’t new and now issues around hospital discharge actions are increasing. This is where beds occupied by frail seniors who no longer need acute care are freed up by discharging the patients who may not have anywhere else to go.
Early discharging of the elderly runs the risk of the patients declining physically and mentally. But the status quo leads to new patients languishing in emergency, or in hospital corridors, cafeterias and other unconventional spaces.
According to published reports, after years of bed cuts and funding restraint more than 90 of Ontario’s acute-care hospitals have been operating at an average occupancy rate that far exceeds the ideal limit of 85%.
After freezing hospital operating budgets in four of the past five years, the Wynne Liberals increased base funding to hospitals this year by 3.1% and promised to spend an additional $9 billion over the next decade to build new hospitals and redevelop older ones.