TORONTO, March 21, 2020 /CNW/ - With a lack of hospital capacity and long-term beds at a crisis point due to pre-existing pressures amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is urging the Ford government to look for creative ways to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
"We need an immediate solution to help those who do and who will need care," said Thomas.
A prime solution is to reopen previously shuttered regional centres across the province that were closed under the previous Liberal government, said Thomas.
"These facilities that once housed individuals with developmental disabilities, can be of immense help to ease the capacity crisis on the system, said Thomas.
"They can be used for currently hospitalized alternative care patients or as dedicated COVID-19 centres to relieve pressure on our hospitals. Let's be proactive. Now is the time for action."
Ontario has a number of former regional centres that if retrofitted appropriately and quickly could be the perfect solution to the oncoming capacity crunch." said Thomas.
These centres, quasi-clinical in design have the space and resources in-house. Plus, the government already owns them. Let's put them to use, Thomas said.
"Let's work together on this. Premier Ford says all ideas are on the table. Well, this solution is a good one and we cannot stall on this. Worst case scenario is post-crisis we will have an inventory of beds that can be used for long term care or alternate levels of care," said Thomas. It's money well spent.
"Let's get moving on this. Now is the time for collaboration. There are no bad ideas. Let's use the resources we have and beat this."
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931