The St.Catharines Standard's Sept.29, 2010 editorial was "This problem has festered in Niagara for too long":
"It's not a new issue in Niagara to have paramedics tied up at local hospitals because there are no beds available for their patients.
Which makes it all the more frustrating is that this problem is getting worse.
Niagara Emergency Medical Services is projecting a nearly 70% jump in so-called off-load delays this year over last. It isn't unusual for an ambulance to sit at a hospital for more than four hours -- and sometimes as long as eight hours -- before the paramedics can release their patient to the care of the Niagara Health System.
And as long as the ambulance is stuck at the hospital, it isn't on standby to respond to other emergencies.
Quite simply, that is unacceptable.
The NHS and EMS have tried different strategies in an effort to shorten the wait, but an increasing patient load and a severe shortage of long-term care beds and community health-care supports have all but negated the addition of extra nurses and attempts to make patients aware of urgent care centres.
But in the final analysis, these measures are little more than Band-Aids.
While the NHS can improve discharge times and get test results from the lab in a more timely fashion, the problem won't be resolved until there is a real and substantive provincial investment in long-term and community care in Niagara.
And that responsibility lies with the province.
On any given day, the NHS could have 120 to 130 inpatient beds occupied by patients who should be in a long-term care home or receiving home care. That, in turn, creates a situation in the emergency departments where patients are designated as admit-no bed, meaning they require a hospital stay but there are no beds available for them.
With these ER beds full, it follows that there is no room for patients coming into the hospital by ambulance, requiring paramedics to stay with their patients until an ER bed opens up.
Free up those inpatient beds by opening more long-term care bed spaces, and the patients will flow through the ER in a more timely fashion, thereby allowing paramedics to release their patients sooner.
To blame this on the controversial Hospital Improvement Plan is disingenuous. Prior to the HIP's implementation, the most serious ER patients -- those who would require an inpatient bed -- were already being diverted to Niagara Falls, Welland or St. Catharines.
The regression is an indication of an older, sicker population -- and of a province that has allowed a serious problem to fester for too long."
First off, one "problem that has festered in Niagara for too long" is the St.Catharines Standard's strange, frustrating reluctance to unpucker their political lips from local Liberal MPP Jim Bradley's butt, and stop giving Bradley his thirty-year-long free ride.
Typically for the St.Catharines Standard, Jim Bradley - whose Liberal policies ARE the problem - WASN'T EVEN MENTIONED! There was NO MENTION in this editorial of Dalton McGuinty's Liberal majority Ontario government!!! Nope - just some nebulous ole folks over at 'the province' are to blame! Unreal.
No mention in this editorial was made of any relevant comments or actions on this issue from Niagara's local governing MPP's. Think the Standard's penchant for not mentioning Liberals or their favourite horse BestBoyJim (unless it's in a favourable light) is new?!! [See Grant Lafleche's Apr.18, 2009 story about the wait time for St.Catharines emergency room patients being nearly 23 HOURS - and yet, the local Liberal health-care-monopoly pusher, Jim Bradley, wasn't even mentioned! See Grant Lafleche's Sept.10, 2009 story 'Code Gridlock' in effect at area ER's where no Liberals were dare mentioned!!]
A year later, no response was provided from Bradley to editorial writer Kalvin Reid's Sept.29, 2010 concerns. Why not? Was Bradley asked by the Standard for a comment, for a response? Will Bradley be asked to respond?! For that matter, does Jim Bradley have anything at all to do with all these supposed health-care issues and pseudo-solutions that Reid keeps on blabbing about?! Does Jim Bradley - or someone else - bear ANY responsibility for anything that this editorial speaks of?!
Standard readers haven't been told what Bradley's reaction was to the Kitts HIP report - and that was from Oct.2008!! Did Bradley at that time note that the Kitts HIP would lead to what the Standard now calls 'disingenuous blame' about the current off-load problems throughout the NHS?! It would be nice to know - now - wouldn't it... seeing as Bradley made no objections about the HIP - and Bradley also did nothing to alleviate the delays and diversions BEFORE the HIP!! Talk about the St.Catharines Standard's own Bradley-friendly editorial disingenuousness!
The HIP cuts led to the two Niagara ER closures, which increased an already problematic wait time/ bed availability issue in the rest of the NHS, and, downloaded costs onto the local municipalities.
Strangely also, Reid didn't mention Toronto mayoralty candidate George Smitherman's role in this ongoing fiasco; I mean, what did GeorgieBoy have to do with any of this, right!?
Incompetent Liberal health minister Smitherman had nothing at all to do with the creation of the LHIN's, or the subsequent health care cuts and underfunding, bed shortages, wait time increases, and forced closure of two Niagara hospital emergency rooms!
It was just some guy from 'the province' who did that.
Standard readers don't have Bradley's reaction to the Standard's own story "More hospital beds 'not in the cards': premier" - and that was from Sept.30, 2006!! Did Bradley object back in 2006 when Niagara was told by McGuinty to screw off when it came to more hospital beds?! [answer: NO!]
Did the Standard find out about this 'older, sicker population' just NOW? Bradley's Liberals have done little on this issue for years - McGuinty as much as told Niagara to FLICK OFF when it came to more hospital beds - and THAT was four years ago!!
What's Bradley done since?!
Well, we don't know - the Standard's editorial can't quite decide whether ANY LIBERALS HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This talk about health-care and "band-aids" in the Standard's editorials isn't new either, see here. Back on Dec.4, 2007, the Standard ran another biased health care editorial, "Symptoms of a broken-health care system", telling us in Niagara "We have to stop with the shortsighted Band-Aid approach and rethink how health care in Ontario is delivered" - and then immediately afterward assuring us "And no, this isn't a call for the privatization of our health-care system."
Really, the short-sighted St.Catharines Standard is almost as much of a problem in all this as Bradley is. The Standard editorialized in 2007 that the "status quo isn't working. It's time for a new approach" - yet, three years later, the Standard still bleats on about the 'unacceptable problems' of health care (which are not just in Niagara, but province-wide, by the way) while ignoring that it is the adherence to the Liberal's single-payer monopolist status-quo which IS THE PROBLEM.
The Standard's editorialists seem to be running out of "new approaches" that aren't just disguised versions of the same-old failed socialist approaches.
The Liberalism embodied by Jim Bradley IS the problem. But the Standard can't bring itself in 2010 - as it couldn't in 2007 - to acknowledge it. Apparently, Jim Bradley is the Standard's sacrosanct deity. Since the 2007 editorial, Bradley's scumbag Liberals have cut more health care and closed two emergency rooms, yet the Standard continues the old-status-quo charade, pretending that Jim Bradley's Liberal ideological health care monopolism is the cure, and not the disease.