WHITEHORSE – As more medical professionals speak out about the hospital bed shortage, the Official Opposition is calling on the government to take action and finally provide a plan to address the crisis.
During the 2016 election the Yukon Liberals promised to create adequate hospital infrastructure for Yukoners by ensuring that Yukon hospitals have sufficient capacity including beds, equipment, services, and qualified staff. However despite the Hospital Corporation stating that the demand for beds has worsened over the past year, the Minister of Health has since said little on the matter beyond vague talking points.
The issue was brought up by Official Opposition MLAs many times during the fall sitting, but the Minister has so far refused to provide Yukoners with a plan to fix it.
“The Liberals promised Yukoners that they would ensure our hospitals have sufficient bed capacity, and they haven’t delivered,” stated Patti McLeod. “There’s a trend of the Liberals saying one thing to get elected and doing something completely different once they are in government. It’s time for this government to recognize this as a crisis and get to work.”
- According to the Chief of Medical Staff’s annual report, WGH was at or beyond full capacity 60% of the time for 2016/17, compared to only 21.4% in 2015/16 and 4.2% in 2013/14.
- 40% of hospital patients are awaiting another level of care such as continuing care.
- The previous government took a number of actions to alleviate the demand for continuing care beds including:
- The opening of a 10-bed care facility Birch Lodge and 10 extended care beds at Thomson Centre.
- The opening of the new McDonald Lodge which increased the capacity by 4 beds.
- The expansion of Home care.
- The start of construction of the new Whistle Bend Place.