Sudbury

NDP sound the alarm on hospital overcrowding at Health Sciences North in Sudbury

Ontario’s NDP says hospital overcrowding across the province is going from “bad to worse.”

Party leader Andrea Horwath points to issues in Sudbury, Hamilton

The NDP says hospital overcrowding continues to be a problem across the province. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Ontario's NDP says hospital overcrowding across the province is going from "bad to worse."

On Tuesday during Question Period, party leader Andrea Horwath released data from Freedom of Information requests filed by the party.

Horwath says the information states Health Sciences North in Sudbury has been operating at capacity for the last year.

"The problem is so bad that patients have taken to social media to share their horror stories," she said. "One woman said her mother hadn't had a shower in 12 days."

When elected in 2018, Premier Doug Ford promised to end hallway medicine in Ontario in 12 months.

"Instead in hospital after hospital, patients have seen things go from bad to worse," Horwath said.

She says her party has also obtained data on capacity issues at Hamilton's Juravinski Hospital, which she says is at 110 per cent capacity.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath criticized the Ford government at Queen's Park on Tuesday, saying the party isn't doing enough to address hospital overcrowding. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

"The staff are worked off their feet trying to accommodate the need," she said.

"It's taking longer and longer for doctors to even see a patient for the first time."

Health minister Christine Elliott says unlike the previous Liberal government, the current Progressive Conservatives are taking action to address the issue.

"We've re-opened reactivation care centres in a number of areas where alternate level of care patients, those that don't need to be in hospital but are stuck there, are able to go to a reactivation centre," she said.

"Many of these people don't need to go into a long-term care home after that. They actually can be discharged home with the appropriate homecare supports."

Elliott adds the province has also been working on chronic mental health and addiction issues.

"We know the answer is not simply investing in hospitals but in community supports," she said.

Elliott pointed out the province has spent $384 million in hospital funding this year over last. She also said the province plans to spend $27 billion over the next 10 years on hospital infrastructure.

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