Aug 03, 2022

By Jane Brown

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Staff shortages at Toronto General Hospital are affecting three intensive care units there.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for University Health Network confirms that Toronto General is under a “critical care bed alert” affecting the hospital’s medical-surgical, coronary and cardiovascular intensive care units.

Rosa Kim also explains this means three of the ICUs are at their total bed capacity and/or have limited human resources to safely keep all physical critical care beds open and in operation.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones did the rounds Tuesday after the president of the Ontario Nurses’ Association revealed that ERs and ICUs in 25 hospitals in Ontario were either closed or partially closed over the long weekend due to severe staffing shortages.

In her first comments on the developing crisis in weeks, Jones reiterated what she had said in a written statement last week.

“The shortage of healthcare workers in the province of Ontario is not unique to Ontario, Canada and unfortunately the world,” Jones explained, “And so, having these organizations who want to work with us, who want to have those solutions put forward, it’s been very gratifying in the last couple of weeks.”

But Jones would not acknowledge whether the series of shutdowns is acceptable.

This was a topic of discussion on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer.

A former federal Conservative deputy leader, Lisa Raitt says she wants to hear from hospital administrators.

“I’d like to hear quite frankly, how are you managing your hospitals? We’re only hearing from the nurses union ringing the alarm bells. What do the Ontario hospital presidents have to say about it?” Raitt told Fight Back. Listen to the full conversation by clicking here.

Zoomer Radio’s listeners will get a chance to hear from one of these administrators. UHN President and CEO Kevin Smith joins Fight Back Wednesday after the noon news.

Earlier Tuesday, Ontario Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser insisted there are measures available that the province should have taken by now, including repealing Bill 124, which caps salary increases for all public sector workers including nurses at one percent a year.


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