NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is blaming overcrowding in Hamilton hospitals for one couple’s ordeal in Costa Rica.
Hamilton residents David Ronald and his wife Kristin reached out to Horwath after a misadventure in Costa Rica left Ronald with a broken back and pelvis.
Horwath says Ronald has undergone two surgeries in Costa Rica because Hamilton hospitals say there’s just no room for him.
The Dofasco retiree is in need of an acute care bed before he can be transferred home for further recovery.
“Four days later they’re still waiting to get back to Ontario and they’re still being told there’s no room. It’s a terrible situation,” Horwath said.
A statement from Health Minister Eric Hoskins contends an average of 10 ICU beds were available throughout the Hamilton Niagara LHIN this past weekend, although his office has not verified “whether the insurer contacted all hospitals in the region.”
It goes on to say “what is important now is that we make the full service of Ontario’s health care system completely available to this family.”
Overcrowding at Hamilton hospitals hit a 200-patient overflow in January.
Code Zero events, in which one or no ambulance is available to respond to an emergency, also peaked at 31, a five-year high last month.
Global News has reached out to the family for an interview.