MPP demands action on CCH overcrowding

Nick Seebruch
MPP demands action on CCH overcrowding
Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH)

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario – Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell grilled the Minister of Health in the Ontario legislature on Tuesday on the problem of overcrowding in one of his riding’s main hospitals.

“This government spent more than a decade giving with one hand and taking away with the other” MPP Jim McDonell stated. “To be clear, our Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) budget has not kept pace with inflation for nine years. When our residents are most vulnerable and most in need, they deserve to feel secure and well cared for. Overcrowding makes that impossible. When overcrowding issues arise, all the Ministry can say is that the hospital should count the patients at midnight. For patients to be in hallways and cubbyholes is unacceptable at any time of the day or night. There are no excuses – the Minister must take all action to help Cornwall Community Hospital deliver the services its staff and administrators know our residents need
and deserve.”

The CCH announced in January that it was at 138 percent capacity. The hospital was typically over capacity for most of the winter months.

In March CUPE, the union that represents some of the employees at the hospital called on the CCH to add more beds.

“Ontario has the fewest number of hospital beds to population ratio of any province in Canada,” the OCHU said in a statement. “The call in Cornwall is part of a push for increased funding for hospitals in the upcoming provincial budget.

As of March, the lowest level of occupancy in the hospital has been 107 percent.

McDonell pointed to the long wait times at long-term care facilities as a compounding factor to the CCH’s overcrowding problem.

“Year-long waits for placement are unacceptable” MPP McDonell commented. “In 2012 the Auditor General reported that our region had the longest wait times in Ontario for a long term care bed, but our CCAC reported that we had an over-supply beyond 2030, even though by then our seniors’ population over 75 would double. The facts don`t lie. It is time for the Minister of Health to leave the fantasy land painted by his Ministry’s figures and see the reality of a scarcity of long-term care beds in our region.”

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