Open Letter from MPP Gretzky to Minister of Health: Immediate Action Required to Alleviate Capacity Issues at Windsor Regional Hospital

The Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care 10th Floor, Hepburn Block 80 Grosvenor Street Toronto, Ontario M7A 2C4

Dear Minister,

I am writing to request that you immediately act to alleviate the mounting pressure for inpatient services at Windsor Regional Hospital.

The recent influenza outbreak has increased the demand for inpatient services at hospitals throughout my community. While it is common for emergency departments and inpatient services to be in higher demand during flu season, the provincial funding structure leaves hospitals ill equipped to respond to any sudden increases in demand.

As you are no doubt aware, current funding for Windsor Regional Hospital is based on figures collected in 2014-15. When over flow beds are required to respond to a severe flu season, hospitals do not have funding readily available to operate these beds and are forced to divert resources from other areas. At the time of writing this letter, every bed at Windsor Regional Hospital is occupied and approximately 54 over flow beds are in use to respond to the influenza outbreak. The additional beds are expected to be needed throughout the winter months at a cost to the hospital of over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars per week.

Minister, today’s patients should not be treated with yesterday’s resources. While our health care professionals strive to meet the growing need for inpatient services, the time lag in funding leaves patients and families paying the price. The Ontario Hospital Association reports that provincial wait times for health care recipients to be admitted to hospital from an emergency department have increased by 13% from last year and emergency department wait times have reached their highest point in nine years. Clearly, as hospitals divert resources to meet the sudden influx of patients with flu like symptoms, wait times for services increase. Windsor is not alone in facing these challenges.

Immediate funding for over flow is required to ensure hospitals can meet increasing patient demand, while continuing to work diligently to provide a high standard of patient care. I ask that you supply the necessary funds to address this urgent matter and I also ask that hospital funding always keeps up with inflation and the unique needs of our community hospitals.

Minister, immediate action is required to ensure patients and families in Windsor and Essex County as well as throughout the province, can access the care they deserve this winter.

Sincerely,

[original signed]

Lisa Gretzky,
MPP Windsor-West

CC

David Musyi, President and Chief Executive Officer
Windsor Regional Hospital
1995 Lens Avenue, Windsor, ON N8W 1L9
1030 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, ON N9A 1E1

Steve Erwin, Manager, Corporate Communications Windsor Regional Hospital
1995 Lens Avenue, Windsor, ON N8W 1L9
1030 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, ON N9A 1E1

Percy Hatfield, MPP Windsor-Tecumseh
Room 363, Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON
M7A 1A5

Taras Natyshak, MPP Essex
Rm 370 Main Legislative Building Queen’s Park Toronto, ON,
M7A 1A5