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