Ontario Health Coalition brings hospital hearings to Hamilton

Residents are invited to share their hospital stories as the Ontario Health Coalition hosts a hearing in Hamilton on Monday evening. Getty Images

Residents are being asked to share their hospital stories during a public hearing on Monday in downtown Hamilton.

The event is being hosted by the Ontario Health Coalition which has been travelling the province and collecting stories that executive director Natalie Mehra describes as ranging from “excellent to terrible.”

At one extreme, Mehra notes that they are hearing about “great innovations” and “excellent care.”

At the other extreme, she describes “awful” stories of people “waiting on stretchers in hallways” or “in an ambulance that can’t offload because emergency departments are full to the rafters.”

READ MORE: Ontario Health Coalition launches tour railing against privatization

Mehra adds that after it finishes collecting stories, the coalition will develop a short list of recommendations and ask “all of the political parties to make concrete commitments” ahead of next year’s provincial election.

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Hamilton is the 12th of 14 Ontario communities to host the coalition’s hearings and Mehra says they’ve been hearing from seniors, patients and their family members, physicians, nurses and other health professionals.

To date, she describes it as a “rich conversation” that has highlighted “very serious problems of under-capacity.”

READ MORE: Pressure on Ontario to ‘cut the cuts’ on hospital funding

Today’s hearing is from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the YWCA auditorium on MacNab Street.

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