Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday July 6 2015
9:32 AM EDT
2014-02-19 at 15:41

Unacceptable risk

FILE -- Alcoves for patients are set up in the hallway of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre can be seen in this tbnewswatch.com file photograph.
FILE -- Alcoves for patients are set up in the hallway of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre can be seen in this tbnewswatch.com file photograph.
By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been charged with a fire code violation for putting patients in alcoves.

"We understand the hospital does have a lot of challenges with overcrowding and with gridlock and things like that, but it doesn't preclude complying with the fire code," said Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Chief John Hay.

Hay said the investigation was done late last year in December and said the violation was around patients being placed in areas of the hospital like alcoves that were not intended for patients.

"It becomes a risky situation," the chief said.

"It makes it more difficult to evacuate people in the event of a fire and it probably goes against their fire safety plan also, which is approved by the fire department."

The hospital has been in a gridlock situation since Dec. 30, 2013.

After inspection from Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, the hospital immediately corrected the situation but Hay said the violation was serious enough to warrant the charge.

Hay also said the hospital should look toward provincial partners to help them with their capacity issues.

"It would be bad if we had to continue charging the hospital because they had no room or they had no capacity. I think they should be looking at their funding partners to see if they can get some support," he said. 

Hospital officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

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jethro says:
Not sure what " analyst1" sees pathetic in firecode infraction???? Whether it helps with overcrowding is irrelevant in relation to the purpose of charges being that peoples lives can be saved in the event of a fire. Theres a reason fire exits, fire plans,etc, exist and are enforced.
2/20/2014 12:55:16 PM
analyst1 says:
On the surface it seems like a pathetic move by the Fire Department to write up our hospital. However, if it helps push home the overcrowding problem to the province, I'm sure the hospital does not even mind. If you take a close look at the hospital map when you walk in the main doors, you quickly notice that the patient bed areas are probably no more than 25% of the total square footage of the hospital. Not that the other 75% are not important areas but putting people in beds has not been a priority for years.
2/20/2014 8:06:01 AM
nvjgu says:
Hospitals are in the business of moveing people. Fix there health issues and out you go, but when there's no place else to go and the hospital is the end of the road some for people the hospital is not legally able to just put them on the side walk. It's going to get worse in the many years head.
2/20/2014 12:25:39 AM
caesarjbasquitti says:
There are many reasons for this unfortunate situation.

For now let me explain how this is a symptom of another more underlying problem; and it goes like this.


Dr. Bruno Scopacasa, was born in Thunder Bay, on Park Avenue. Due to an industrial accident that killed his father, he went to live with his uncle in Italy. He was educated as a doctor. He came to Thunder Bay back in 1989, with his wife hoping to set up practice in his 'hometown'.

Now you have to realize that the health systems in Europe rank in the top 10, Italy ranks in the top two. Canada ranks 30th.

The medical establishment did not want him. At a meeting with other local professional it was very evident that some of the doctors did not want his competition.

Doctors are paid a fee per visit, or service.

This creates an inverse relationship between your health and your doctors income.

With thousands of people in this city without a family doctor; expect complications and more gridlock.
2/19/2014 11:20:29 PM
Back-in-the-bay says:
Fair enough that the fire chief levies a charge in this circumstance, but Mr. Hay should leave his 'seek funding' suggestions and opinions to himself, they only demonstrate his absolute lack of knowledge on that subject. It seems way out of the scope of his duties and expertise. His comments belittle the work and challenges faced by senior administration of all Ontario hospitals, and echo the same lack of knowledge the typical commenter seems to display here on this subject.
2/19/2014 7:26:41 PM
moi says:
...spoken like a true senior administrator, back-in-the-bay.
Unacceptable risk? Try..."TBRHSC,where Gridlock is our middle name".
2/20/2014 9:30:42 AM
student35 says:
The hospital does have enough beds to service all the acute care patients. Its all the long term care patients taking up the beds that is the issue. Thunder Bay NEEDS more long term care beds, an acute care hospital is not where these people should be.
2/19/2014 7:18:01 PM
thunderbaycouncel says:
FACT: the LPH is opening a wing to help with the gridlock. You heard it here first, its not made public yet. How's that bit of info for everyone? Its actually in process as we speak, the old dementia wing.
2/19/2014 7:12:46 PM
Mazda323 says:
It's about time!,
2/20/2014 10:59:25 AM
jimmyboy says:
We have now reached an all time low over there with the laying of charges by the Thunder Bay Fire Department.....I was there this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. bringing a friend in for a bone scan...the emergency department was over flowing...and there was barely any place to even park on the property.
2/19/2014 6:38:24 PM
Kam River says:
Council turns its back on the Hospital
The story says "The hospital has been in a gridlock situation since Dec. 30, 2013"

This Mayor and council need to be asking the province to spend provincial dollars on the Hospital.

In stead they demand that provincial dollars be spent on
(1) a youth centre
(2) a multiplex for rock groups
(3) a moving an art Gallery to the Marina

Please stop wasting our money and ask the province to spend their money on expanding the hospital getting it our of gridlock.
2/19/2014 6:23:29 PM
REG says:
I would like to know who is responsible and who was charged or was this just a show.
2/19/2014 5:59:05 PM
ThunderBayFullOfCrime says:
Or perhaps it's because this town is full of old people with chronic conditions.

The hospital is so small, don't blame people for getting sick, blame the city for now allowing enough room for these poor people, 200,000 in Thunder Bay and surrounding area's. Plus we have people flown in daily for cancer treatment. This situation is ridiculous and needs to be fixed.
2/19/2014 5:35:58 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
I guess administration is to blame here. They should be held accountable for the way things are being run. If they cannot fix the problem, get somebody that will. Maybe it's time to stop having medical people in charge of running hospitals. Keep them as doctors but don't have them run a hospital.
2/19/2014 5:35:01 PM
Ranma says:
No surprise. Our hospital is way too small for the amount of people it services. We seriously need a new hospital before an events center.
2/19/2014 4:03:15 PM
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digdug76 says:
Or people could just take care of themselves a little better? Imagine if everyone made the effort to quit smoking, get exercise, eat healthy, drink in moderation, etc. I'm sure the numbers at the hospital would drop somewhat.

We witness people with cancer, emphysema, and such, yet people are still smoking and even starting to smoke.

We witness people with cirrhosis of the liver, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and such, yet people still continue to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Let's not forget the amount of accidents that are caused by alcohol that result in ER visits and hospital stays.

If everyone did their part to attempt to stay healthy instead of just leaning on the hospital, maybe it wouldn't be in gridlock. Obviously some things are out of your hands, but if everyone at least tried to live a healthy lifestyle, I'm sure it would cutback on the numbers somewhat.

Just saying.
2/19/2014 4:47:32 PM
hadenough says:
While you bring up some very valid points, your argument is more of a long term solution rather than something immediate.

People need to take more responsibility for everyday problems rather than wait for some form of government to give them the answers. Whether its for health care, crime prevention, housing needs or entertainment we let government involve itself too deeply in our lives.

Just saying mine.
2/19/2014 5:57:06 PM
MistakeByTheLake says:
Yes, people should take better care of themselves, this doesn't negate the fact that TBRHSC is and always was too small for the region.

The Medical staff there do an amazing job despite all the issues they face.
2/19/2014 5:58:57 PM
Decide says:
None of those things you mentioned are the cause of the gridlock. It is drunks, assault victims, people with sore tummy's and ear aches that are the cause. Just sit in there and you will see for yourself.
If it wasn't for those people, the ER would be almost empty.
As for the people still smoking/starting smoking, blame the primary tobacco pusher, the gov't. The taxes raised from tobacco and alcohol sales more then cover the costs associated with those lifestyle choices, they also cover the costs of obese people binging on cheap junk food. Attack that lifestyle, and tax the crap outta it, then the health care system won't be so strained.
And although I hate to use that stupid line, I will anyways...."just saying"
2/19/2014 7:39:35 PM
insertcorrectpunctuationhere says:
Do you even know what gridlock means? It has nothing to do with how many people are in the emergency room. It's how many people are in the ER who are admitted and waiting for a bed on a unit. The ER could have a thousand people in it, but if they aren't admitted to the hospital and waiting for a bed on a ward then they do not affect whether or not the hospital is in gridlock.
2/20/2014 1:16:30 AM
unionbay880 says:
2/19/2014 7:40:05 PM
pc says:
I smoke, I try to drink a glass of wine a day to help with circulation problems which might develop, due to my health problems.
Not one of which has anything at all to do with smoking, or drinking.
Sometimes I smoke because it is about the only thing I can do that "Normal people do" good or bad they do it and I can and feel like I have something normal in my life. Sometimes I smoke or have a glass of wine because it keeps me from screaming from the pain I am in.
I used to hide my dad's cigarettes thinking it would make him quit. It didn't but one day he just put them down and never picked them up again. Lecturing and nagging non stop is not going to get people to quit so why not stop the badgering of us so constantly.
We will quit when we decide to not when you tell us to.
So get a life and a different hobby, this one is getting old.
2/20/2014 12:57:29 PM
anvil of crom says:
funding partners ??
you can build a new hospital, add more beds but if the province will not fund the bed, your not putting patients in them.
In this case the gridlock was unacceptable you cannot turn people away, that's not right..so they found more room.
Now this..
There is a lack of long term beds that the issue, people needing continuing chronic care.
2/19/2014 6:06:20 PM
SomeGuy says:
Ranma health care funding is a provincial matter not a municipal one. Our property taxes do not go to funding health care services.

This matter has nothing to do with the Events Centre.
2/19/2014 6:25:07 PM
noront says:
Not arguing here, but a hospital is a provincial issue. And the events centre, or any other local project would be municipal.
2/19/2014 6:43:30 PM
pc says:
True but there is only one tax payer. no matter if it is federal or provincial or municipal. There is only so much money and until the Libs stop the spending there will be no chance for a new hospital at all. Nursing homes or long term homes need to opened so the hospital beds are not used up by them. Population is aging and they need to be cared for since they paid taxes all their lives. Stop the extras to refugees who have never paid a penny in taxes yet want the same health care we get. basic care is fine extras let them pay for or do without. Our elderly deserve decent care and so do our sick.
2/19/2014 8:40:11 PM
The Cougar says:
That's what happens when you shut down hospitals and build a new one with much lower total occupancy. I was in there with appendicitis a year ago and they had tons of old people on beds out in the hallways and down corridors. It's extremely unprofessional. A prime example of how such little practical thought goes into projects in this city. NEEDS BEFORE WANTS!
2/19/2014 3:47:29 PM
Back-in-the-bay says:
Current bed capacity of the new hospital is more than the combined bed capacity of the ancient 3... So nice try there. Also, capacity and dollars have zero, nothing and zip to do with the city of Thunder Bay. Get your facts straight before wagging your cane in all the wrong places.
2/19/2014 7:29:57 PM
enos012 says:
No you get your facts straight and read what was written. The other hospitals had more occupancy. Also no where in the above mentioned doesCourgar blame the city just the unpractical projects. The hospital worried too much about esthics instead of practicality. How much for those glorious wooden pillars? Sorry but pillars don't do anything for health care!
2/19/2014 8:43:05 PM
Back-in-the-bay says:
I don't who you think you are, but defending ridiculous and inaccurate comments speaks volumes about your understanding of this issue. There are more beds now in the new hospital than there was in all three combined old ones. Usage is up as a result of an aging population. An issue well known an understood by health officials and the government. There is no sense refuting your silly wooden pillar comment, because it speaks to your total lack of understanding of most everything. It's not surprising you jumped to defend this comment...birds of a feather...
2/20/2014 6:45:49 AM
enos012 says:
Yeah more beds because of the gridlock? It was common knowledge when it was built it would have less beds or can you actually not remember thinghs that far back? It was also said that the taxes that were increased to help cover the cost would be decreased when paid off but sure you don't remember that as well. BTW did you know since you seem to know it all, a woman who was a big supporter of the hospital had workers take down half a wall because she didn't like the bricks. LMAO...if you think wooden pillars estimated well over $100,000 was tax payers money well spent. You are part of the image is every thing generation...just total ignorance!!!
2/20/2014 1:54:45 PM
jimmyboy says:
Back in the day all 3 of our existing hospitals were not truly classified as Northern Ontario's Regional Hospital....as our present one is....and may I remind you the GRIDLOCK here....has the trickle down ill effect on every other hospital that this one was meant to serve....and lastly I must state once again for the record....the approved provincial budget was only for $164 Million $$$....yet the final price tag was $315 Million $$$ which translates to a whopping 58% over the approved budget....I'll say no more.!!!
2/19/2014 8:53:11 PM
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