Grant LaFleche wrote in “Website offers hospital comparisons”, (St. Catharines Standard, Apr.18, 2009):
“Nearly 23 hours.
That’s how long patients with complex health problems wait in the St. Catharines General emergency room.
That’s nearly 10 hours more than the provincial average and almost three times the provincial goal of eight hours.
The clock starts ticking when a patient checks in at the ER and stops when the patient is discharged or admitted. Waiting for nearly an entire day might seem like a good indication to go elsewhere, but the Niagara Health System says things are not that simple.
“I would never use just one indicator when choosing a hospital,” said Frank Demizio, NHS vice-president of patient services. “You need to look at the entire picture.”
As of Thursday, getting a look at that entire picture has become easier for Ontario residents. The Ontario Hospital Association launched a website listing how hospitals do in a series of indicators, from ER wait times to infection rates to patient satisfaction.
With a click, for instance, you can compare how the St. Catharines General rates against other hospitals in the region or around the province.
“The OHA has undertaken to do this because what they found was that Canadians regard their health-care system as part of the national identity and they want to know as much about it as they possibly can,” Demizio said Friday.
The OHA site — www.myhospitalcare.ca — is put together using information reported by hospitals to several sources, including the provincial government. Demizio said as reports are issued, the website will be updated.
However, even if all the published indicators are taken into account, Demizio said the whole story isn’t being told.
In the case of ER wait times in St. Catharines, he said the raw statistics do not explain why the times are so long.
“That’s where you can go to a particular hospital’s website for more information. We have been posting this sort of information for some time now,” he said.
Wait times are exacerbated because of a backlog of alternative-care patients — patients who no longer need acute care at the hospital but remain there while waiting for long-term care or rehab beds to open up elsewhere.
“On a daily basis average, the NHS admits 20 to 40 patients directly to our emergency department because there are no beds,” the NHS website says. “When this happens, they experience a much longer wait in the emergency department than is ideal. This is particularly pronounced at NHS’s large sites, where the sickest, most complex patients are seen.””
What’s so surprising in this article?
- is it that ER hospital patients, in Ontario, Canada (home of mythical-to-some universal single-payer -"national-identity"-health-care) have to wait almost a day (!!) for treatment?
(Please, once again, don’t let lefty health care propagandists such as Michael Moore know about this; you know, that Yankee buffoon who spreads rumours that Canadians get their ER service faster than Moore can get his super-size pizza delivered.)
- is it surprising that David Caplan, the Liberal health minister, hasn’t yet decided to shut down (or provide only sketchy info to) this site, similar to the way Liberal education minister Kathleen Wynne did recently with the comparisons of schools in Ontario?! Allowing the public to compare the performance of publicly-funded hospitals, or publicly funded schools, is well…gauche, uncalled-for, unseemly, and unfair!! All schools, and all hospitals, everywhere in McGuintyland, are equally the same, don’t you know!! No need to nitpick with pesky comparisons, which then lead to pesky questions about under-funding within a government run monopoly!
- is it surprising that no one asks: well, then - where else can patients go if the St. Catharines ER is this bad. . . seeing as that the Liberals are also closing ER's in the southern Niagara tier?! Buffalo?
- is it surprising that in this entire article, not one mention was made in reference to the local Liberal health care monopolist, MPP Jim Bradley? The Standard report tells us that patients with complex health problems wait an average of 23 hours in the St. Catharines General emergency room, a wait that is nearly 10 hours more than Ontario’s provincial average and almost three times the provincial goal of eight hours - yet, NO RESPONSE FROM LIBERAL MPP JIM BRADLEY WAS PROVIDED BY THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER!!
This is happening in Bradley’s own riding, in his own majority Liberal government’s state-run health care monopoly!! Did anyone at the St. Catharines Standard bother to ask the local monopoly-enforcer, Jim Bradley, for a comment? Talk about a free and easy ride for Good Ole Jim!! (Is that surprising??)
Again, no note in this Standard report informing readers whether the Standard even bothered to contact Jim Bradley asking for a comment, let alone whether or not Jim Bradley bothered to respond. Maybe the Standard just doesn’t bother to contact Good Ole Jim anymore, thinking ‘What’s the flicking point? We’ll just wait for Bradley’s press release, if he so graciously chooses to honour us with one, until then ... La-di-dah’… It’s as if Good Ole Jim, miraculously, has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO with these very problems which Jim and his lying Liberal health-care monopolists created!! (Is it surprising that Mike Harris, or Ralph Klein, weren't mentioned in this story?!)
- is it surprising that, once again, for the millionth time, the ‘bed shortage’ is being trotted out as an excuse for the system’s poor results. But we know that Dalton McGuinty himself several years ago said that more beds WERE NOT IN THE CARDS! (see: here, here, here, here )
McGuinty Liberal monopolists are gambling with our health care literally and figuratively.
When has the Standard challenged the local Liberal MPP on his government’s lack of progress on the beds issue? This very same issue has been going round in circles for years under the Liberals – and Bradley has never been held accountable for his government’s evasive flip-flopping on the issue.
- is it surprising to now 'officially' learn about the long wait-times at the St. Catharines NHS ER? Why, prior to this report, leftist status-quo-praising-health-care monopolists would have us believe that wait times like these were simply ‘anecdotal stories’, ‘atypical’, and ‘not representative of the entire system’…bla… bla…blah…! But this is McGuinty’s Liberal monopoly at work.
- is it surprising (in light of what we now know to be extraordinarily-long wait times in our local NHS's St. Catharines ER), that no one bothers to ask Jim Bradley how this relates to the NHS's St. Catharines extraordinarily-high patient mortality rate as was reported by CIHI in Oct.2007; and, how in turn that relates to the Bradley Liberal’s calculated, systemic under-funding of their health-care monopoly’s obligations?
- when Demizio mentions that "the whole story isn't being told" . . .
[and again - is it even being asked?!
Does a smug Jim Bradley simply get a free ride to only peddle his unchallenged side of the story and ignore answering questions about his Liberal government's health-care decisions and the repercussions thereof ?!]
. . . is it surprising that the ombudsman is only allowed to investigate certain tangents of this - and that McGuinty's secretive Liberals keep other health-care information hidden from ombudsman access? (Remember the hundreds of patients who died from c. difficile in McGuinty's Ontario Liberal health care monopoly - and NO formal independent investigation ever took place?)
Perhaps only a criminal indictment of the Dalton McGuinty Liberal cabinet could bring about full public access to the Liberal’s record of health-funding decisions, revealing the extent of their calculated ideological manipulation of their health-care monopoly; and revealing the Liberal's simultaneous negligent disregard for patients who are forcibly trapped in this unreasonably-perpetuated, ponzi-scheme monopoly.