Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday August 19, 2022
Ontario to fund more private clinic surgeries, send patients to temporary LTCs to ease health-care pressures
Ontario is hoping to ease health-care pressures by increasing publicly covered surgeries at private clinics, waiving the exam and registration fees for internationally trained nurses, and sending patients waiting for a long-term care bed to a home not of their choosing.
On Thursday, Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced a plan that aims to hire more health professionals, free up hospital beds and reduce surgical wait lists. The plan comes as nursing staff shortages have seen emergency departments across the province close throughout the summer for hours or days at a time.
On long-term care, the government plans to introduce legislation today that will allow patients awaiting a bed to be transferred to a “temporary” home while they await space in their preferred home. It’s also taking 300 beds that had been used for COVID-19 isolation and making them available for people on wait lists, and says there is a potential to do that with 1,000 more beds within six months.