Home Care Ontario | Sep 10, 2019
Toronto Star – Letters to the Editor
September 10, 2019
The solution to hospital overcrowding is home care
Hospitals hit new peak for overcrowding in June, Sept. 5
The Ontario Hospital Association is the latest group to raise the alarm over the overcrowding plaguing our hospitals. The answers to these issues around ever-increasing wait times and alternate levels of care are the result of expecting hospitals to do too much for too long. We are pleased we have a government committed to tackling this issue and it is clear that the solutions to these issues can only be found outside the hospital. While hospital overcrowding used to be a phenomenon only seen during flu season, the sustained overcrowding and “hallway health care” has now become the new normal. We must take pressure off our hospitals today and the best way to do that is by delivering more care at home and in the community.
We know that people want to age, recover and remain at home, yet we currently have 4,000 people in hospital beds that no longer require a hospital stay. These patients are in hospital simply because they have nowhere else to go for their care — including many waiting for home care. Delivering more care at home is the quickest and most cost-effective way to help end hospital overcrowding.
A stronger home-care system means both stronger hospitals and long-term care communities. It is, therefore, essential that Ontario invests more in home and community care as a key part of reducing hospital overcrowding, thus building an adequate, equitable health-care system that works for all Ontarians.
Susan VanderBent, CEO Home Care Ontario, Hamilton