The strike by personal support workers is having an impact already on Health Sciences North in Sudbury.
Spokesman Dan Lessard said on the strike's first day, Wednesday, three people weren't able to be discharged.
He said the search is on for alternatives to help those people get homecare — including family members or hiring another agency.
Staff members at the hospital are mindful about the pressures the strike could put on the hospital, he added.
“We're monitoring this daily — both patients being discharged and patients being admitted,” he said.
“We want to make sure, to the best of our ability, we continue to manage the flow of patients, whether they're coming through the [ER] or surgery.”
The hospital is looking at bringing in more staff to look after those who can't be discharged. And Lessard said they're also looking at bringing in more specialists, such as physiotherapists, to make sure patients are fit to go home.
The personal support workers on strike are with the province's largest home care agency, Red Cross Care Partners.
Lessard said the long-term impact of the strike on the hospital won't be known for a while.