Some el­derly sent to hospi­tal to ease over­crowd­ing at NYGH

Bayview Post - - News -

Pa­tients from North York Gen­eral and four other hos­pi­tals across the GTA will be trans­ferred to the old Hum­ber River Hospi­tal build­ing this month to help al­le­vi­ate over­crowd­ing is­sues at each fa­cil­ity. Its doors will open on Dec. 10 to ac­com­mo­date 150 much-needed hospi­tal beds.

The hospi­tal at 2111 Finch Ave. is now called the Re­ac­ti­va­tion Care Cen­tre ( RCC) and has been retro­fit­ted as the re­sult of a $140 mil­lion gov­ern­ment plan to add more than 2,000 beds to On­tario hos­pi­tals.

The RCC will take in post–acute care pa­tients. It was de­vel­oped by the Cen­tral Lo­cal Health In­te­gra­tion Network (LHIN), which in­cludes North York Gen­eral, South­lake Re­gional Health Cen­tre, Macken­zie Health, Markham Stouf­fville Hospi­tal and the new Hum­ber River Hospi­tal. Each will get their own unit at the RCC to op­er­ate and run, with 30 beds each.

“It is well known that On­tario’s hospi­tal sys­tem faces in­creas­ing pres­sures as a re­sult of fac­tors in­clud­ing a grow­ing and ag­ing pop­u­la­tion,” said Mitchell Toker, se­nior di­rec­tor, com­mu­ni­ca­tions at LHIN.

Ac­cord to Toker, four of the five hos­pi­tals, in­clud­ing North York Gen­eral, will re­ceive $14.3 mil­lion to­ward the RCC op­er­a­tion for the 2017–18 fund­ing year. Macken­zie Health will add an ad­di­tional 90 beds to its unit at the end of 2018.

“[It will be] fo­cused on bet­ter meet­ing the needs of se­niors ... out­side of the acute care set­ting,” said Toker.

North York Gen­eral Hospi­tal (NYGH) pres­i­dent and CEO Tim Rut­ledge con­firmed the in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary ser­vices and ex­tra ca­pac­ity of­fered to pa­tients in tran­si­tion will both free up space at NYGH for more pa­tients and pro­vide bet­ter care for those who still need sup­port but don’t need to be in a hospi­tal set­ting.

“This par­tic­u­lar ini­tia­tive is rec­og­niz­ing that we have quite a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of pa­tients that … [have] had their var­i­ous con­di­tions man­aged … but need re­ac­ti­va­tion ser­vices so that they’re safe to go home,” said Rut­ledge.

Rut­ledge said he be­lieves the 30 beds will be enough and noted the move will in­crease care for pa­tients be­yond the stan­dard ser­vices, as an ever-grow­ing ag­ing pop­u­la­tion puts more de­mand on lo­cal hos­pi­tals.

“[The] uti­liza­tion of health care in­creases ex­po­nen­tially af­ter the age of 65. So as our pop­u­la­tion gets older, the demands on all health care re­sources go up sig­nif­i­cantly.”

Alex Graco, pres­i­dent of the York Mills Gar­dens Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion, agrees hos­pi­tals need more fund­ing but raised some FINCH AV­ENUE W.

Prov­ince forced to re­open moth­balled

con­cerns about the pa­tients that stand to be af­fected.

“Does it make prac­ti­cal sense to move them to this par­tic­u­lar fa­cil­ity?” asked Graco, not­ing that the move may be stress­ful and in­con­ve­nient for el­derly pa­tients who want to be close to home and their fam­i­lies.

“There’s a hu­man el­e­ment to it. There’s an emo­tional el­e­ment to it,” he said.

For pa­tients cur­rently at NYGH, a 25-minute drive away, Rut­ledge said he doesn’t be­lieve the com­mute to the Jane Street and Finch Av­enue West area will be that dif­fi­cult.

“The only real dis­ad­van­tage is … the ge­og­ra­phy. And it’s ac­tu­ally not that far, so I think it’s re­ally the right care in the right place, at the right time,” he said.

Rut­ledge said the new model of care will in­clude a ded­i­cated team of spe­cial­ized per­son­nel such as phys­io­ther­apy, oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy, nurs­ing, so­cial work, speech pathol­ogy and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for pa­tients who are re­cov­er­ing from acute con­di­tions.

In the mean­time, Graco said he hopes the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment will take a closer look at the over­all ef­fi­ciency of the cur­rent health care sys­tem.

How­ever, Toker said that the RCC is the best avail­able op­tion for meet­ing the needs of pa­tients across the GTA.

“Pa­tients will re­ceive the best care in the most ap­pro­pri­ate set­ting. The RCC will of­fer nu­mer­ous ben­e­fits for pa­tients and fam­i­lies in­clud­ing tai­lored care for the frail and el­derly.”

“Does it make prac­ti­cal sense to move them to this par­tic­u­lar fa­cil­ity? There’s an emo­tional el­e­ment to it.”

The Re­ac­ti­va­tion Care Cen­tre will house post–acute care pa­tients from across the GTA

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