KINGSTON, ON, March 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Kingston's Hotel Dieu Hospital
needs to confirm or deny existence of a plan to reduce hours at its
downtown urgent care center says the Ontario Public Service Employees
The Kingston Health Coalition wrote to CEO Dr. David Pichora March 8
asking him to release a consultant's report that purportedly recommends
closing the urgent care centre at 8 pm rather than the current 10 pm.
Hospital staff believe the shortened hours could be implemented as
early as May.
"If true this represents a significant change in service," says Warren
(Smokey) Thomas, President of the 130,000-member Ontario Public Service
Employees Union. "The South East LHIN and the hospital need to open
this up to public debate rather than make this decision in secret and
behind closed doors. Given how widespread these rumours are, Pichora
needs to immediately either confirm or deny the plan to shorten patient
Early closure of the urgent care center likely means more activity for
Kingston General Hospital's emergency room. The most recent posting for
ER wait times (October-December 2013) showed KGH well above the
provincial average, especially for high acuity patients. High acuity
patients spend an average of 18.1 hours in the KGH ER compared to the
provincial average of 10.1 hours. Low acuity patients spend 5.8 hours
compared to a provincial average of 4 hours.
By sending patients back to KGH's emergency room, it would reverse the
province's strategy to increase "after hours" access to alternate
"The Wynne government sold the public on the idea of urgent care centers
to relieve pressure on the ERs, now they appear to be flip-flopping in
Kingston and sending patients back to an overloaded KGH," says Thomas.
For further information:
Rick Janson 416-525-3324 (Cell).