CORNWALL – As an overcrowding problem continues at the Cornwall Community Hospital, the latest provincial data bears out the problem in the form of wait times.
It shows people are waiting a lot longer for ER care than other SD&G hospitals and other health care facilities in Ontario.
According to data for March 2017 from the Ontario Ministry of Health, people at the McConnell Avenue hospital were waiting a total of 7.2 hours to diagnose and treat minor conditions – three hours longer than the provincial average.
When it came to complex conditions for total time spent in the ER, the wait time reaches nearly 14 hours – again – just over three hours longer than the provincial average.
The ministry of health bases total time spent in the ER as the most time spent by every nine out of 10 patients from the time of being diagnosed to receiving treatment or waiting for admission.
CCH is categorized as a high-volume hospital – handling 30,000 to 50,000 ER visits a year.
In Winchester, people were waiting a total time of 6 hours for minor conditions and 8.5 hours for complex condition treatment.
Glengarry Memorial Hospital was 4.5 hours for minor conditions and 7.2 hours for complex treatment.
It should also be noted that the Winchester and Alexandria hospitals are considered low-volume hospitals, which have fewer than 20,000 ER visits a year.
Exacerbating the problem at Cornwall Community Hospital has been a constant issue with overcrowding. The hospital has been above 100 per cent capacity since just after Christmas.
At some points, capacity has reached 138 per cent.
Last week, MPP Jim McDonell lashed out at the Liberal government, accusing it of not keeping pace with inflation for the past nine years when it came to CCH’s budget.
“For patients to be in hallways and cubbyholes is unacceptable at any time of the day or night,” McDonell said during Question Period at Queen’s Park.
He said patients waiting for placements in long-term care facilities – sometimes up to a year – is compounding the problem.
On Monday, NDP finance critic John Vanthof accused the government of under funding hospitals by $300 million.
The government maintains it’s put more than $500 million into the budget or a 3.1 per cent increase to the bottom line operational funding to all Ontario hospitals.