Brampton city council unanimously declared a health care emergency on Wednesday, with one councillor saying patients are dying in the hallways of the city’s only major hospital.
That hospital, Brampton Civic, ran at more than 100 per cent capacity during the first half of 2019, recently published data from the William Osler Health System showed.
A CBC News investigation, meanwhile, shows that hospital gridlock — a phenomenon that used to be restricted to surges in patients during flu season — is the new normal across the GTA and rest of Ontario.
The resolution passed by Brampton’s council sounds an alarm, but also calls for two key actions.
- A demand for the provincial and federal government to send more money to Brampton Civic and Peel Memorial Centre.
- A commitment to push ahead with a plan to open 850 beds at Peel Memorial Centre.
Meanwhile, thousands in the growing city have also been calling for the creation of a third hospital, with city hall even launching an online campaign called #FairDealForBrampton.
“Patients are dying in the hallways of the city’s only hospital,” said Coun. Rowena Santos.
“It is time for us to demand a fair deal on health care and put a stop to overcrowded and underfunded hallway medicine.”
Mayor calling for more funding
City council has been concerned about what it calls “major funding gaps,” long wait times and hallway medicine for some time, but is now escalating its demands for something to be done about the situation.
“The resolution requested immediate action from all health care system providers,” the city said in a news release.
Brown, in that same news release, said this:
“Brampton’s health care system is in dire need of funding and support from the Provincial government. On behalf of Brampton City Council, we will not stand idly by. We have officially declared a Health Care Emergency in Brampton, and we are requesting immediate action and response from all health care system providers to address our community’s urgent needs.”
CBC Toronto has reached out to Ontario’s health minister for comment on Brampton’s declaration.
This week, Christine Elliott said the government is working to end hallway healthcare.
“This isn’t a problem that grew up overnight; it has been building up over a number of years,” Elliott said in an interview Tuesday. “There’s no simple solution to change it. There’s a lot of action that needs to be taken and we are doing that.”
However, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, citing CBC News reporting, blasted the province for not doing more.
“After two years of the Ford government, we’ve seen hallway medicine go from bad to worse, and people are suffering,” she said.