Ontario will give $90M to hospitals in effort to end ‘hallway medicine’ ahead of flu season
Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, October 2, 2018 6:19PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 2, 2018 11:06PM EDT
As flu season approaches, the provincial government is injecting $90 million into the health-care system, in an effort to prevent patients from being treated in hospital hallways.
The details of this funding promise were made at a meeting with health-care stakeholders on Tuesday by Minister of Health Christine Elliott. An official announcement regarding the funding is expected to be made on Wednesday.
The province’s plan includes funding 1,100 hospital beds, including 655 new beds and 450 existing ones, according to CTV News Toronto.
While Premier Doug Ford campaigned on a promise to end “hallway medicine,” sources tell CTV News Toronto this funding announcement is separate from the Progressive Conservative government’s plan to create 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years.
The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) said it welcomes the government’s “significant investment” in a statement issued on Tuesday.
“Ontario hospitals appreciate the government’s timely action in responding to the immediate capacity challenges within the health care system,” president and CEO of the OHA Anthony Dale said in the statement.
“While hallway health care will not be solved overnight, the investment announced today will significantly improve the health system’s ability to care for patients this coming winter when patient volumes are expected to be at their highest.”
According to the OHA, there were 4,455 patients occupying 15 per cent of hospital beds while waiting for a more appropriate level of care in July 2018 – “a time when hospital occupancy rates are usually much lower.”
“That means one in six hospital beds is being used by a patient who could be better served in a different setting,” the statement said.
Occupancy rates grow throughout the fall, peaking at the height of flu season in January, the OHA said.
Ford and Elliott are expected to make an announcement regarding “ending hallway medicine” on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.
With files from CTV News Toronto's Queen Park Bureau Chief Colin D'Mello