Health care funding cuts will hurt patients in Kingston. That alarm is being sounded by the N.D.P.’s Finance Critic. He says two recent independent reports confirm front line health care in Ontario is being worsened by ongoing Liberal cuts. And as Mike Postovit reports, Kingston General Hospital is singled out for its overcrowding problems.
It’s here where the sick come to get better — or at least it’s supposed to be. But according to the N.D.P. Finance Critic, and some patients, staff cuts and overcrowding seem to be disrupting that procedure.
Dr. David Zelt/K.G.H. Chief of Staff/Exec. V.P.
“I think we’re in a challenging time where we — we meaning not only the hospital but the LHIN and the province need to be looking at continuing care and how we’re going to manage the changing environment and it populate patients that we’re seeing.”
The impact of provincial health care cuts was singled out in the Auditor General’s recent report.
Kingston General Hospital was cited as having a 90 percent patient occupancy rate for 10 straight quarters from 2013 through 2015. An overcrowding situation that hasn’t changed.
“We’re still running at least at 90 percent capacity on most days — and some of the wards are running at 110 per cent capacity at many times so it does create a challenge with patient flow.”
The N.D.P.’s Finance Critic lays the blame on Liberal government cuts.
John Vanthof/N.D.P. Finance Critic
“This is across the board — the government has been forcing everyone — hospitals, long term care to look for efficiencies and they’ve been doing this for a long time and there’s no more fat left in these bones.”
It’s not the first time the health care funding crisis has been raised. Front line workers staged this protest to voice their concerns with the government. Opposition parties say front-line services are under attack.
“The financial accountability officer in his report this week said that they’re going to be short to meet their own targets this year — they’re going to be short 400 million dollars so that means they’re either going to have to put more money in or they’re going to have to cut 400 million dollars out of the system”
K.G.H. says it alone can’t cure the fiscal pain.
“It’s gone beyond just the hospitals themselves dealing with this particular problem — and it’s us reaching out to our partners, our other hospitals in the primary care on the ways that we can now look at better ways of managing that continuum of care.
Mike Postovit, CKWS News, Kingston