Both the Tories and the NDP have had the LHINs in their sites recently in the Ontario legislature. While the government maintains it is shifting services out of hospitals and into the community, the reality is that the services are just not there.
Frank Klee (MPP Newmarket Aurora) raised the story of a 28-year-old with muscular dystrophy seeking complex continuing care.
“He’s in a wheelchair and has serious respiratory, heart, bowel and urinary problems, and requires continueous, mechanical ventilator support 24 hours a day,” Klee said. “His parents, now both over the age of 60, can no longer provide the complex continuous care that he needs.”
Klee said the Community Care Access Centre told the family they were unable to help, and referred them to the Central LHIN. The Central LHIN in turn told the family to go back to the CCAC.
Howard Hampton (MPP Kenora – Rainy River) said half the medical surgical beds in Kenora’s Lake of the Woods District Hospital are occupied by 27 “alternate level of care” patients who have been waiting for 130 days for a long-term-care bed.
Hampton said supportive housing “proposal after proposal after proposal” have been taken to the North West LHIN without “much of a response.”
Stories of long term care bed shortages are increasing after the McGuinty government decided to hold the line on new beds.
Health Minister Deb Matthews acknowledged her government still had a lot of work ahead to improve care, and said the LHINs are very focused on the issues the opposition members raised.