PEMBROKE, Ont. – Representatives of the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, and the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions OCHU/CUPE, are in Pembrokeon October 11 to advocate on behalf of elderly patients who are pushed out of hospital while they are acutely ill or who are denied needed acute care services. Patients are also being denied access to services like speech-language pathology (for assistance with swallowing and speech) following a stroke because they are discharged too early to get the proper treatment and follow-up.
“We want to hear the stories about seniors’ care in hospitals today,” says OCHU president Michael Hurley. A hotline number (1-888-599-0770) has been established for patients or their family members to call to report their experiences.
Ontario has the fewest number of acute hospital beds of any developed economy in the world. Botswana, Panama and Albania have more hospital beds to population than Ontario. Ontario’s hospital occupancy rate of 97.9% results in many patients, primarily elderly, being discharged prematurely, some to unregulated retirement homes, with deadly consequences.
A recent study also indicates that the elderly are less likely to be transported by paramedics to a regional trauma centre in Ontario after a heart attack or stroke and as a result have a significantly higher death rate than if they were taken to and received care at a major hospital.
Media conference details for October 11, 2011:
10:00 – 11:00am Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 72, (MacGregor Lounge), 202 Pembroke St East, Pembroke, ON
For more information:
Mary Cook, Executive Director
Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists 416-920-3676
Michael Hurley, President
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE 416-884-0770