Ontario’s hospital system is in crisis: report

A grim assessment of Ontario’s hospital system was released Thursday, as a new report says hospitals in the province are in crisis, and it could get worse.

The report came from unions that represent hospital workers. It’s their perspective. But we also spoke to a patient who’s been going through the system.

Dave Dekker of Burlington is a long-time plumber who hasn’t been able to work for years, and is having a hard time getting around these days.

“So they operated and he promised me we’re going to make you good as new. Well good as new never happened,” Dekker said.

Dekker injured his knee at work five years ago.

That led to three knee replacement surgeries, all on the same leg, complications, and constant pain.

“The pain’s out of control. The pain’s like 15 plus. And it’s just a sharp driving pain,” Dekker said.

And he feels let down by Ontario’s health care system that hasn’t been able to fix his knee.

“It sucks. There’s no good health care. Mr. Ford tells us we’ve got the greatest health care and that, and everybody says we’ve got the greatest health care until you need help. And when you can’t get the help what do you do?”

WATCH MORE: CUPE report reveals hospital staffing, capacity issues in Ontario

At Queen’s Park today, health care unions released a report that looked at the state of Ontario’s health care from their perspective, saying hospitals are failing patients and workers.

A union representative said that last year, 2,096 people died on waiting lists for surgery in Ontario hospitals and another 9,400 patients died waiting for MRI’s and CAT scans.

He says 145 of 250 ER closures happened in this one province last year.

The report says the system is in crisis. There aren’t enough hospital beds, wait times for surgery are too long, there are 37,000 job vacancies, and employees are walking away from the job.

Another union representative said a lot of people give up in despair. They just can’t do it any more. They are emotionally and physically broken by the demands of working in the Ontario hospital system.

They say there are no signs the government is going to improve conditions.

And as a patient, Dekker is skeptical about Ontario’s health care and he’s close to despair.

“It’s a sad situation, the health care system here in Canada. We’re supposed to have the best health care but try and get health care,” Dekker said.