Cancelled surgeries, long waits for a bed not acceptable for KW families

Cancelled surgeries, long waits for a bed not acceptable for KW families


QUEEN’S PARK – Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife took the Liberal government to task Monday morning over the continuing overcrowding and hallway medicine crisis at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Last week there were two surgeries cancelled and 14 people waiting in temporary spaces in the ER for an in-patient bed.

“It’s simply unacceptable for families in our community to question whether or not our hospital will be too full to help them,” said Fife. “We know that the hospital and all the front-line health care workers there are doing everything they can to make sure people are getting the care they need – but this Liberal government is not doing its part.”

St. Mary’s Hospital’s vice-president and chief nursing executive said that the overcrowding crisis has been building throughout the past year, and that flu season has exacerbated it. Last week the hospital reached the alarmingly high capacity of 110 per cent. Experts consider 85 per cent to be safe.

“For decades we’ve had Conservatives and Liberals cutting hospital budgets, closing hospitals, and firing nurses,” said Fife. “We need to stop choosing between bad and worse when it comes to health care. We need to invest in our hospitals and the people who work so hard to keep us all safe and healthy.”

For nearly two years, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath has been releasing internal hospital data obtained through Freedom of Information laws showing how serious and widespread the overcrowding crisis is. She has met with patients, families and front-line health care workers from Kitchener-Waterloo to Thunder Bay and in many other communities across this province.

Horwath has promised that an NDP government will fund hospitals at a minimum, to the rate of inflation and population growth, and taking into account the unique needs of each community – things like aging populations. She has vowed to implement a pharmacare program, a drug plan that covers everyone regardless of age or income – which is a proactive solution that will keep Ontarians healthier, and cut down on ER visits. She has also committed to a moratorium on front-line health care layoffs.