Ontario Premier Doug Ford is maintaining that the province's healthcare system is meeting the needs of people in the province, as emergency and intensive care units in hospitals have been forced to shut down or reduce operations.
"There's a log-jam but 90 per cent of the patients are getting taken care of when they're going into the hospital," Ford said at a press conference on Wednesday, specifying that surgeries are happening at about 90 per cent of pre-pandemic level.
"Nine out of 10 people going into emergency departments are being taken care of."
The premier added that for emergency departments specifically, patients are being "taken care of" within eight hours.
The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) indicated that about 25 hospitals in Ontario were forced to reduce operations over the long weekend due to staff shortages.
University Health Network's Toronto General Hospital is under a "critical care bed alert" in its Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit, where they are at total bed capacity or do not have the human resources necessary to keep all the physical critical care beds open safely.
Ford continues to call for increased funding from the federal government, while a report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO), released in April, found that the province's spending on health care, per person, was the lowest in Canada.
The premier also stressed on Wednesday that the staffing shortages in hospitals, particularly among nurses, is not specific to Ontario.
This isn't unique to Ontario. This is happening across the country, it's across the world, we need more people involved in health care.Ontario Premier Doug Ford
"We're in need of more nurses, as many as we can get."
People across Ontario, including health experts and professionals, have taken to social media to call on Ford's government to address the hospital staffing crisis.
Calling on the Premier & the Minister of Health to come shadow me for only 4 hours in the ICU or ER. Ontario's healthcare remains in crisis and no immediate solutions in sight. #NursesSpeakOutForHealth pic.twitter.com/0T9D8HSP1V
— Birgit Uwaila Umaigba (@birgitomo) August 3, 2022
Simple: Ontario's healthcare is the worst funded per capita of all of Canada. Demand @fordnation spend some of the Billions they've hoarded to save our lives
— Cheri DiNovo (@CheriDiNovo) August 3, 2022
If I hear Doug Ford mention how many physical beds his government has added I think my head might explode. The issue isn’t physical space it’s STAFFING. When will he get that through his thick skull?
— Steve Flindall (@flindall_steve) August 3, 2022
Using real numbers, hospital cost/12h shift (11.25h paid):
Agency RN 5y experience = $110+HST x 11.25= $1398
Full-time RN 5y experience = $40.59 x 11.25= $456
Difference = $942/shift
There is money in the system.
Pay full-time nurses more and use private agencies less. https://t.co/dTeL91mMp6
— Michael Warner (@drmwarner) August 3, 2022
When did Ontario’s thinking shift to 8hrs being an “acceptable” wait time to be seen by a doctor in urgent care?
What about the 12% who wait longer than 8 hours?
What about those who wait days on a gurney for a bed in the hospital?
Just rename it: Doug Ford Urgent Don’t Care.
— PeterRatcliffe (@PeterHRatcliffe) August 3, 2022