Strategy Urgently Needed to Meet Needs of Growing, Aging Population: OHA

    TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - Creating a comprehensive strategy to meet the
needs of a growing and aging population must be an urgent priority for the
Government of Ontario, and for Ontario's health care providers, in the months
and years ahead.
    "Ontario's population is growing and aging very quickly," said Hilary
Short, President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA). "This
means that the demands on Ontario's acute care hospitals, and particularly on
their emergency departments, are increasing very quickly."
    The OHA continues to call for the timely development of a comprehensive
strategy to ensure that Alternate Level of Care patients can receive the care
they need outside of acute care hospitals. ALC patients typically require a
lower level of care than that provided in acute care hospitals. Hospitals that
are unable to discharge their ALC patients to more appropriate facilities have
experienced crowded emergency rooms and, in some cases, have cancelled
    The OHA recommends that the ALC issue be addressed from a health system
perspective, and involve additional investments in the acute care, long-term
care, home care, complex continuing care and rehabilitation sectors and in
supportive housing beyond what is currently planned.
    "Concerted action is needed to ensure that patients, particularly elderly
patients, receive the care that they need, where and when they need it," Short
said. "We plan to work with the Government of Ontario, and our partners
outside hospitals, to develop a strategy that will meet their needs."

For further information:

For further information: OHA Public Affairs, (416) 205-1348

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