Michael reacts to new wait time strategies
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
NDP Leader and Health Critic Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill–Quidi Vidi), is pleased the provincial government is addressing emergency room wait time concerns, but says there are other questions yet to be answered.
The approach announced today will hopefully address the front end of ER wait times, but the announcement today does not speak to all the problems experienced by patients who go to the province’s emergency rooms.
“Two years ago Eastern Health commissioned a report from Siemens Health Care Canada,” said Michael. “It seems that some of that report’s recommendations are reflected in today’s announcement. However, the report states that the only way to effectively deal with bed blockages is to enhance the home care program.”
The lack of home care means patients are occupying hospital beds, which in turn means that ER patients are regularly not admitted to hospital when necessary. The Siemens report reads, “Lack of community based resources to provide homecare services are affecting the organizations [sic] ability to discharge patients to their community. Without a fully funded community based model of homecare support Eastern Health will not be successful in achieving length of stay targets and its commitments to the community and province.”
“Has the minister decided to ignore this particular recommendation from the Siemens report?” asked Michael. She also wonders what has happened to the long-term and home-care strategy government has been promising for years. “Is the Minister planning to make more promises in this year’s budget, or are we going to get some action?”
“I have said it before – a fully comprehensive and independent review of our health care system must be undertaken,” said Michael. “Government must get away from the piecemeal approach to reviewing and improving our health care system. A comprehensive review will give us a full picture of our system so we can most effectively and efficiently move forward.”