Windsor

WRH receives 'one-time' surge of $1.7M to address overcrowding amid flu season

A funding surge of $1.7-million will add 33 beds to Windsor Regional Hospital, but it comes with some conditions.

Funds will support 28 beds, plus 5 for acute mental health care

Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj says the conditions imposed on a $1.7 million funding surge from the provincial government may pose some 'flexibility' issues. (Dale Molnar)

A funding surge of $1.7-million will add 33 beds to Windsor Regional Hospital.

The influx comes as part of an initiative from the provincial government, which announced a $90 million expenditure to fund hundreds of hospital beds ahead of flu season, a measure to help address the issue of so-called hallway medicine — according to the provincial government.

Last year marked the first in which Windsor Regional Hospital received a funding surge directly related to flu season. Hospital CEO David Musyj said the hospital only received funding for 20 beds at that time.

"This year, they have guaranteed funding for 28 additional beds ... In addition, we just found out that we're going to be receiving money for five acute mental health beds as well."

In previous years, Windsor Regional Hospital experienced occupancy rates of 110 to 120 per cent when the flu hit. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

But there are some conditions.

For starters, the funding is "time-limited" from early November to the end of March. Plus, the additional beds can only be accessed when the hospital reaches 100 per cent occupancy.

"If you're at 99 per cent, you can't use those beds and you can't attract that funding," said Musyj, adding he wishes access to the beds was more "flexible."

In previous years,  Windsor Regional Hospital experienced occupancy rates of 110 to 120 per cent when the flu hit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjay Maru is a reporter at CBC Windsor. Email him at sanjay.maru@cbc.ca.

with files from The Canadian Press

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