Some elderly sent to hospital to ease overcrowding at NYGH
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.
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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