Sudbury

Sudbury patient shares experience of being placed in a hospital bathroom for care

A Sudbury, Ont. man who was placed for 10 days in a hospital bathroom as a patient is calling for more hospital beds.
Leo Seguin of Sudbury was placed in this hospital bathroom for 10 days when he was recently a patient at Health Sciences North. (Supplied/France Gelinas)

A Sudbury, Ont. man who was placed for 10 days in a hospital bathroom as a patient is calling for more hospital beds.

At the beginning of February, Leo Seguin, who is in his 70s, went to the emergency department with a back injury.

He says he was admitted later that day and placed in a semi-private room.

But a few days later, staff moved him out of that room and into a bathroom.

"[The staff] called it the spa," he said.

"There was a shower, then there was a vanity in between with a mirror. Then there was a bathtub with a shower in there too. And then at end of my bed, there was the toilet, where my head was."

Seguin says he was told he was moved into the bathroom as the bed in the semi-private room was needed for another patient.

He says the room wasn't ideal but says he was able to get rest.

"I didn't hear nobody moaning, nobody snoring," he said. "So when I slept at night, I slept like a log."

Seguin adds despite being placed in a bathroom, the staff at the hospital provided good care.

"It's not fun to be in a room like that," he said. "But I was well looked after. The service was very good with the nurses and the doctor too."

Seguin says he feels the hospital needs more beds to avoid having patients placed in a bathroom like he was.

NDP calls on Liberals to address overcrowding

The issue was highlighted at Queen's Park last week, when Nickel Belt MPP and New Democrat health critic France Gelinas brought it up during question period. She is a friend and neighbour of Seguin and discovered he had been placed in a hospital bathroom when she went to visit him.

"I couldn't believe where he was being forced to receive his medical care," she said in the legislature. Gelinas called on the premier and health minister to address overcrowding in hospitals.

Health minister Eric Hoskins responded by saying the province is working with individual hospitals to determine what's needed.

"We added 16 new beds to Health Sciences North. We increased their budget last year by $6 million," he said at Queen's Park.

"I'm not saying that they're not facing capacity challenges, partly because of the season that we're in… a very bad flu season."

The president and CEO of Health Sciences North said in a statement to CBC News last week that the hospital is overcapacity and has maintained an average of 116 per cent occupancy since January.

"We understand this is not ideal for the patient experience," Dominic Giroux said.

About the Author

Martha Dillman is a multimedia journalist based in Sudbury. You can find her on Twitter @marthaCBC or by email martha.dillman@cbc.ca

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