London, Ont. Hospitals reply to Ford’s non-public supply of Public Well being Plan – London


It remains unclear how the Ontario government’s three-stage plan to redirect surgeries and procedures to private clinics will affect local hospitals. However, some predict that it will take some time for an effect to be seen.

On Monday, the provincial government announced a plan to expand the private delivery of public health care by “funding clinics to perform more cataract surgeries, MRI and CT scans, colonoscopies, hip and knee replacements and other procedures to ease the pressure on the hospital.” to decrease system.”

“Our model is actually an outpatient surgical center, so we’re already conforming to the Department of Health’s vision,” Karen Perkin, vice president of patient care and chief of nursing at St. Joseph’s. “We perform more than 20,000 operations annually.”

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Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), which the government says it will fund, are facilities that offer low-cost services that perform surgeries that don’t require hospital admissions.

Ontario is expanding surgeries offered in private clinics

According to Perkin, St. Joseph’s performed 522 fewer cataract surgeries from April to December last year than during the same period in 2019 before the pandemic.

Referring to the province’s three-step plan, Perkin said she is hopeful of the opportunities it can bring.

“I think we need to continue to look for new ways to approach this, but as we have new technology and new medicines and as we teach our new learners how to continue to adapt and care in a home care setting, I think there are endless possibilities for us to improve in this area,” she said. “That’s why I’m hopeful because there are so many opportunities for us to move forward.”

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In response to the province’s new plan, the London Health Science Center (LHSC) said it was “working with government partners and hospital colleagues to find innovative ways to improve access to care and surgical capacity in the province”.

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The Nazem Kadri Surgical Center at LHSC is a standalone outpatient surgical clinic that is an extension of the LHSC surgical program. However, it is not designated as a provincial municipal surgical center and is not a private facility.

“Operating within the current surgical volume, this LHSC managed surgical center has been able to balance the much needed capacity of the operating rooms on both the LHSC University campus and the Victoria Hospital campus, ultimately creating efficiencies within the system and enabling more patients to receive surgical care in a more timely manner,” wrote Cathy Vandersluis, President of the University Hospital and main sponsor of the Nazem Kadri Surgical Centre, in a statement.

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Since opening in March 2020, more than 4,400 operations have been performed in the surgical center.

Overall, however, the province says there are about 206,000 patients awaiting surgical procedures.

MJ Macera is one of many Ontarians on a waiting list for surgery.

In 2020, she suffered a torn rotator cuff and said even being a nurse didn’t help expedite the process for an MRI, despite being on an emergency list.

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“I’ve spoken to occupational medicine here at work and said, ‘Are nurses or doctors or even medical staff getting to an MRI quicker?’ and they say, “No, no special favors for anyone,” she said. “When we have so few nurses in all of Ontario (and) probably the whole world, you would think they would want people to go back to full-time work.”

Macera, who works in Victoria Hospital’s Cardiac Unit, has a stroke limitation in her dominant arm and says she finds it difficult to perform simple tasks in her daily life, such as using a mouse on a computer.

Looking back and waiting for an appointment for months, Macera said she would have taken drastic action had she known the process would take so long.

“If I could have paid for an MRI, I hate to say this, but to speed things up, if I could have paid for an MRI, I seriously would have,” she said.

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Critics of the plan want to invest money in the public health system instead, while opposition parties and five health unions are calling on the province to change course. They warn of extended wait times, staff being laid off from the “troubled public hospital system” and patients “prone to paying out of pocket”.

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However, the government continues to emphasize that the surgeries and tests will continue to be paid for by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

– with files from Andrew Graham of Global News.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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