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Local hospitals are currently dealing with too many patients. Hospital overcrowding has long been an issue in Ontario, and local hospitals are preparing for a busy year.

CEO for the Dryden Regional Health Centre, Wade Petranik, spoke about the issue in the region.

“We know that this is a problem across the province. It’s hit our own region here as well. Kenora is in the same boat. So is Sioux Lookout and now Dryden. We’re dealing with overcapacity issues in terms of in-patients in the hospital. Certainly the hospital has been challenged recently with occupancy. We are full right now. This is an ongoing issue related to senior’s services and placing seniors in the community and in long-term care. We’re looking at alternate places to put people. It’s pretty challenging for all of our staff,” he said.

Studies show that hospitals typically operate at their best performance when occupancy rates are at 85 per cent, and yet in Ontario, many hospitals are running well over 85 per cent, and some are running at over 100 per cent occupancy.

In October, the province provided funding for over 2,000 additional beds and spaces to improve patient access to care in hospitals across Ontario. Through the $140 million dollars of funding, four beds were made available in the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, and ten beds were made available for the Short-Term Transitional Care Spaces at Pinecrest Home, a partnership with the Lake of the Woods District Hospital.

Kenora Rainy-River MPP Sarah Campbell recently added that a proposal to add 76 beds to the Meno-Ya-Win Health Centre in Sioux Lookout has been sitting at Queen's Park for three years, without a response. The member noted 40 residents of the area have been moved to Thunder Bay, due to a shortage of beds.

According to study in 2014, Ontario has the lowest amount of staffed, and available medical beds in Canada.

For more information:
Long-term care beds needed, MPP
Ontario tackling hospital overcrowding
Kenora hospital dealing with overcrowding
Ontario NDP leader concerned with hospital overcrowding and ER wait times

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