Hospitals in Greater Toronto Area struggle to staff up, according to report

Bureaucracy, late responses and low staffing are all contributing to understaffing at hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area, according to the latest in a series of reports released Thursday.

Tina Dong, a spokesperson for the Progressive Conservative Party, noted that this is the eighth such report tabled by the local government in the last four years. “The PC platform is to implement one to one staffing,” Dong said in a statement. “Over the past two years we’ve seen a decline in hospital transfers of care rates, and yet, more than 1,700 patients are still in Toronto hospitals, waiting to be transferred to facilities that can properly care for them.

“The PCs were able to avoid a $300-million health transfer cut through the commitment to implement their own one to one staffing policies, and those policies have been effective since they were announced,” the statement said.

See a breakdown of hospital care by region below.

And a map of hospitals with the most transfers of care.

The new report said, “the growing demand for in-hospital acute care has resulted in wait times that no longer reflect community requirements, particularly for patients with life-threatening diseases.”

While out-patient programs continue to provide vital support to individuals with chronic illness and injuries, Ontario hospitals “struggle to care for patients with new and complex diagnoses as well as fully capable care for those chronically ill and injured,” according to the report. Hospitals are using practices from emergency departments, like the use of triage and respiratory life support, to manage the physical environment of their emergency departments and more specialized care, it said. But the existing systems are inadequate to deliver care to patients requiring care out-of-hospital. This is likely because of staffing shortages, a lack of understanding of services, delays in booking beds and a lack of communication between care providers.

Read the full report here.

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