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Tbnewswatch Local News
Wednesday May 27 2015
3:54 PM EDT
2014-06-06 at 16:05

100 days of gridlock

Executive vice-president of patient services Mark Henderson says transitional care unit has had an impact on patient flow, but the hospital is still in a state of gridlock.
Jodi Lundmark,
Executive vice-president of patient services Mark Henderson says transitional care unit has had an impact on patient flow, but the hospital is still in a state of gridlock.
By Jodi Lundmark,

THUNDER BAY -- The city's hospital is still in a state of gridlock despite the opening of a transitional care unit at the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital.

By Friday's end, 26 long-term care patients will have moved to the unit at the LPH site run by St. Joseph's Care Group as one of the solutions Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews announced in March to deal with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre's overcapacity issue.

The regional hospital has been in gridlock for more than 100 days.

The hospital's executive vice-president of patient services Mark Henderson said the move has had a considerable impact on the hospital.

They were able to move 11 ALC to long-term care patients over to the new transitional care unit and another 15 to St. Joseph's Hospital after St. Joe's moved 15 patients to the LPH.

"We still have about 70 ALC patients in the hospital," said Henderson. "If we hadn't moved these patients out, we'd have over 90 ALC patients in the hospital today."

Another 17 beds will open in the city in August through the minister's $14-million announcement, which will mean 43 less patients waiting at the Health Sciences Centre.

However, the ALC population is growing about two per cent every year, said Henderson.

"We're not out of the woods by any means," he said.

The transitional care unit at the LPH will remain open until the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Seniors' Services, a 416-bed long-term care facility, opens in late 2015.

The CEISS should help the gridlock situation at the hospital, but Henderson said some of the long-term care facilities slated to close may have to remain open longer than originally planned.



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catlap18 says:
I have had a family member in the hospital for 14 days now and on only 3 of the those days has testing been done. The other days have been spent waiting for the doctors to decide what to do. Does it really take going on 6 days now for two doctors to get together and talk about their patient. It shouldn't. This is a big reason why the hospital is in a state of gridlock. Come on doctors, get with it!
6/9/2014 9:38:19 AM
Eastender says:
Djs you are absolutely correct.
Health care has to be made a priority, not a place to make cuts in order to bring down the deficit.
There are so many other places where money is wasted foolishly. The event centre is a prime example.
You couldn't be more right about the hospital design, the main floor is the second floor, tne emergency ramp, and inadequacy of parking in emergency
area, the under construction look was a huge waste of money.
6/9/2014 9:35:21 AM
Watchmaker says:
Three things drive this gridlock:

1 - lack of long term care beds. The "Grey Tsunami" is starting to erode the foundations of our health care system. Governments at all levels and all colours have known about this but did essentially NOTHING to proactively deal with an aging, medically needy population.

2 - The hospital was not designed to have enough bed space. Too much of the budget was consumed on the aesthetics of the building and not enough emphasis was put on creating space to deliver health care. Who was responsible for this you may ask - their names adorn the street signs on the hospital property.

3 - The Province undertook an intellectual revolution in the mid to late 1990's and changed the way mental health is assessed and treated, closing facilities, downloading/reducing services etc. When people with mental health or addiction issues are in crisis, they end up at the hospital emergency as that is the only alternative for care.
6/7/2014 6:57:13 PM
djs says:
I agree completely. People are living longer, but there are not enough places to care for them if they need daily medical help or supervised care.
The aesthetics of the hospital was designed by morons as was the whole layout. The structures outside make it look like it is under constant construction. The main floor is the second floor which confuses people who are told to go to the third floor from the main floor and it is only one floor up. Also, who in their right mind makes the emergency entrance a ramp with stairs??? There is not enough parking up there ever so most people have to hike up and down the ramp/stairs to get to their vehicles.
And lastly, the province needs to reopen the They need to hire mental health and medical professionals now. The gridlock has to go.
6/8/2014 8:04:55 AM
jimmyboy says:
this is a 10 year old problem...therefore hardly news to all those who need access to the facility.
6/7/2014 6:00:22 PM
Shane Caker says:
How much money did TJC make on this project again jimmie? You haven't told us in at least a couple of months.
6/8/2014 11:30:56 PM
jonthunder says:
I was merely supporting Dr. Henderson in that the $14M committed by the Ontario government at election time does not solve the problem. Perhaps you should tell the good doctor that he is wrong. I never mentioned support for any party and only commented on our government of Ontario. Anyone who thinks our hospital situation is good, should take a second look at things and talk to the experts, many who work there or provide medical services in our community.
6/7/2014 5:03:13 PM
tsb says:
We should RAISE TAXES and SPEND!!!
6/7/2014 3:22:16 PM
cariboukid says:
So who's going to make it better jonthunder, the conservatives? The sky will fall on our heads first.
6/7/2014 12:08:37 PM
dynamiter says:
There were 2 really big reasons that Mike Harris had to be the brutal cut man that he was. Firstly Mr Bob Rae - NDP premier Bob Rae - now a Liberal front man for the Ring of Fire ( after switching from the NDP to the Iggie Liberals - imagine that) - had spent this province to the brink of Junk bond debt. Secondly the famous Mr Paul Marting - who was recently campaigning for Wynne - cut 4 billion dollars of federal transfers to the province ( and Ontario bore the brunt of those cuts). So now she is invoking Paul Martin's lines - goodbye to the cheating lying fiberals - and unlike the Chretien Liberals - Harper was not so bad in his first few years. So Hudak has no reason to be as harsh as Harris because at least the Federal Cons have not cut the Health transfers.
6/8/2014 10:53:38 PM
thunderbaycouncel says:
THERE IS A SIMPLE SOLUTION! The LPH has beds to accommodate over 1000 patients! why did we only send over 20 some patients? get some money to do the same thing that they did to accommodate these people and get it done soon! This is more important than the STUPID Event Center that are kids kids kids will be paying off for the rest of their lives and yet some! get it done TBRHSC and St. Josephs! work as a team!
6/7/2014 10:36:17 AM
djs says:
I took my mother to the Emergency yesterday, but I felt we were in the receiving room of a psych hospital instead. One patient was being reprimanded for peeing on the floor, with the nurse saying he wouldn't do that at home, would he. Another patient kept screaming, and I do mean loudly, that she wanted to go out for a smoke...and snakes, she was afraid of snakes...she wanted to go home...she wanted to die...she wanted the iv removed...Then, while waiting for xray, an old man was wheeled into the area. The attendant turned to two other young men that showed up and said that he was in arm restraints and known to be aggressive. I have a feeling that all three belonged in a different kind of hospital. We were only there for 2 was after 10 a.m. What is the emergency area like on Saturday night? How many times are really ill patients made to wait longer because there is no place to care for those whose emotional issues cause them to inflict physical harm on themselves?
6/7/2014 8:25:17 AM
livewire says:
I believe the whole problem stems from the hospital being a REGIONAL Hospital. What Thunder Bay needs is another hospital or a an additional Wing added to the existing design. P.S. Maybe the Fed's can pay for the additional Wing since they never paid zero dollars last time.
6/7/2014 6:28:45 AM
DustInTheWind says:
People really need to rethink this strategy of stay in your home health care. Sure it is nice but these people become sicker more dependent on care providers than most people entering extended care homes in this city. Thunder Bay needs more long term care homes. PERIOD. This gridlock will never cease until we have suitable alternatives for declining, aging, seniors with serious incurable illnesses.
6/6/2014 8:47:45 PM
Kam River says:
Ontario is sinking deeper and deeper into debt. In order the pay the interest on the debt. Who ever wins the elections will need to cut health care, education and many other areas.
The Quebec Liberal government yesterday starting slashing and cutting.
The Ontario Liberal Government does not understand the difference between wants and what is need like health care.
6/6/2014 7:15:19 PM
Blah blah says:
The misuse of hospital services by people tie up health care professionals to a point of grid lock. People are exploiting our current system and using it for their own benefit. Until this loop hole is monitored or fixed, grid lock and the wasteful spending of government money will continue to occur.
6/6/2014 5:56:16 PM
musicferret says:
Its unbelievable to me that our council puts such a huge amount of energy and money into lobbying the govt. for $ for an events centre while our hospital still has such issues.

6/6/2014 5:28:28 PM
jonthunder says:
If the Grid-Lock continues and we are one of the worst in ER and other health care services in the developed world; out Ontario government has clearly, clearly failed Thunder Bay and the Region of NWO. Their $14 million recent band aid has not fixed the problem and was likely only an election ploy. We deserve BETTER.
6/6/2014 5:04:06 PM
kidruck says:
Re: are a genius via..."we deserve better" comment.
The government threw $14MM at an issue in health care...nothing new there.
Secondly, your sense of entitlement "to better health care" is part of the problem. One cannot throw endless money at an issue, health care in Canada already consumes the majority of our tax dollars.
Please revisit a Tommy Douglas's "right to BASIC" health care then revisit such legislation under current standards. He never in a million years thought of the services we have today for are not
More money is not the issue...a greater reality of expectations from health care is.
Rant over.

6/7/2014 12:47:30 AM
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