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Report reveals Ontario’s hospitals most problematic compared to rest of Canada

Click to play video: 'Ontario hospitals most problematic in Canada' Ontario hospitals most problematic in Canada
WATCH: A new report released by Ontario health-care unions is citing pre-existing hospital infrastructure and staffing issues and how they are playing a role in the pandemic. Brittany Rosen explains. – Apr 28, 2021

A new report released by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions suggests major discrepancies in hospital infrastructure and staffing levels in Ontario compared to the rest of the country that were longstanding prior to the pandemic.

The data shows Ontario has significantly fewer hospital beds per capita than other provinces, and that it would need more than 4,000 to meet the Canada-wide average.

Read more: ‘Worst nightmare’: Ont. hospitals scramble to make room for COVID-19 patients as cases skyrocket

It also suggests major staffing-level discrepancies, suggesting that in order to compare with the rest of the country, the province would have to hire 45,000 more hospital employees.

“There’s so many things that could have been done,” said Sara Labelle, a medical laboratory technologist and chair of the Hospital Professionals Division of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

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“It’s absolutely appalling that we’re in a position, with a province as large as Ontario, with as many people as we have in Ontario, that we are where we are right now.”

Read more: ‘It’s demoralizing:’ Hospital workers in Durham continue to fight for pandemic pay

On Wednesday, the province announced it would allow hospitals to transfer patients to long-term care homes without their consent.

“That’s a very good example of the extreme problems that we’re now facing because of the lack of capacity in our hospital system,” said CUPE research representative Doug Allan.

Allan warns if the province does not increase funding for hospitals, there will be large implications on Ontario’s health-care system.

Watch: First cases of COVID-19 detected in Durham one year ago

“We’re going to see more hallway health care. We’re going to see more privatization of our health-care services,” he said.

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