May 03, 2012- 10:54 AM
While we recognize the efforts being made by the North East LHIN to address the health concerns of our senior population, the alternate level of care (ALC) patient numbers given by LHIN CEO Louise Paquette are misleading.
She states that the number of ALC patients at Health Sciences North is half that of a year ago, but neglects to mention that because of the cutback in the number of beds at the Functional Assessment and Outcome Unit (former Memorial site) there are actually more ALC patients at the Ramsey Site of Health Sciences North than a year ago, but fewer at the Memorial site.
This is a “shell game” that needs to end, as the functioning of our main hospital site is at serious risk. It is acknowledged that there would be no emergency room crisis and few people waiting in hallways and other areas for beds if there were no ALC patients at the Ramsey (Laurentian) site.
Every day there are close to 80 ALC patients in acute care beds at the Ramsey site, plus all 30 available beds are occupied at the Memorial site, resulting in often 20 or more acute care patients in the emergency department, waiting for beds according to the HSN website.
What makes the situation even more curious is the matter of ALC care cost. We are told that the cost to keep ALC patients in the Ramsey (Laurentian) site of HSN is basically double that of the (Memorial site) and many times that of a regular nursing home.
If the LHIN is truly trying to get value for our health tax dollars, and has real concern over the functioning of our health care system, how do they reconcile these figures if indeed they have any control over the global health care budget, as they seem to indicate?
The shell game has got to stop with real answers and solutions provided.
chair, Friendly to Seniors Sudbury
Posted by Vivian Scinto