‘More demand, less money is our reality’: CCH chief of staff

Dr. Lorne Scharf, Chief of Staff for the Cornwall Community Hospital, addresses the annual general meeting for the hospital on June 18, 2015. Dr. Scharf believes more demand and less money for the hospital is the new reality. Click photo to enlarge. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – While not wanted to cause alarm, the chief of staff at the Cornwall Community Hospital believes health care demand will continue grow and less money will be available.

Dr. Lorne Scharf has been Chief of Staff since 2013, is an ER physician and former chief of the Emergency Room department.

“When I gave this address at the AGM (last year)…we had moved into our emergency room….a new MRI. It seemed that, from that point forward, all would we would need to do is just show up to work and things would be on autopilot and that was pretty much it. But this couldn’t be further from the truth,” the doctor said.

Scharf said Thursday night, in an era where people are living longer and health care is expensive, he expects emergency room visits to top 60,000 in the coming year.

There were 59,968 patients through the ER last year.

“More demand and less money is our reality. But the reason I’m saying this is not to sound an alarm or sound negative. I’m saying this because I want to convey the message that I think there’s tremendous opportunity and a bright future for our hospital,” Scharf said.

“We’re going to continue to focus on outcomes with our great new tools…focus on the patient experience. What kind of results we’re getting for our patients,” he added.

Scharf also believes it’s important how efficiently the hospital uses its resources.

The chief of staff says the hospital is moving closer to provincial targets on preventing patient blood clots, hand hygiene, rates of mortality and the Cesarian-section rate which is 18 per cent (the “ideal rate” is 10 to 15 per cent according to the World Health Organization).

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