The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) is calling on the province to open at least 200 fully-funded and permanent beds at hospitals in the Ottawa-area. It says these beds are needed to recover capacity, ensure patient safety and alleviate the now constant strain from insufficient beds at area hospitals.
Union officials say they don’t believe that the current overcapacity Ottawa hospital is caused by a bad flu season. They say the real issue is that too many beds and staff have been cut while the population has grown and gotten older. They point to data showing Ontario has the fewest hospital beds of any province in Canada and the fewest staff for those beds.
Union president Michael Hurley says there are roughly 2000 patient beds between Ottawa’s hospitals (Royal Ottawa,Ottawa Hospital, Bruyere, Queensway-Carleton, Montfort and the CHEO). He says the addition of 200 permanent beds would bring the hospitals’ bed capacity to 2200, a level high enough to deal with the surge in patients. (OCHU news release)
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