Friday, June 28, 2013

What is wrong with LTC?

Mrs. Cohen, 91-years-old, with dementia and colon cancer. Her son, a physician, opted NOT to put her through surgery. He was told to get his mother on a list for long-term care within five days.
Not only that, but he was told he had to choose 5 homes from the hospital's list, have her name placed on a list, and she would be placed in the first available bed. None of this follows the policy and procedures in Ontario.

This is where the system breaks. The process is clear. In Ontario we access long-term care (LTC) beds through CCAC. There are individuals within the system who put patients last, and their own need to cross a name off of a list and open up hospital beds.

Truly, the system is NOT baffling. There are policies intended to streamline the process, and create priorities. Unfortunately, there are individuals, within CCAC, who abuse their positions of power.

Long-term health care: A look inside the often-baffling system

Howard Cohen was told he had five days to find a long-term care home and move his mother out of hospital. Is this any way to run a health-care system?

  • Ontario has 2.4 hospital beds for every 1,000 residents, the lowest ratio of any province and most developed countries. 
  • There is enormous pressure to quickly discharge seniors Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients.
  • The number of people waiting for beds jumped by almost 85 per cent between 2005 and 2012.
  • There were 19,000 waiting for placement, according to the provincial auditor. But the number of beds increased by only 3 per cent during that time.

Related:Ontario long-term staff need training


Karen said...

Our family has a horrible story of the hospital threatening us when we refused to take Dad back to the home where he wasn't getting adequate care. A social worker told the NP at the family GPs office that they would call the police and take Dad to a men's shelter if we didn't make immediate arrangements for him. When we threatened to take this nonsense to the media, things started moving really fast. We were glad that this ludicrous statement was made to someone in the doctors office rather than one of us kids because no one would have believed us, it was so crazy!!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Karen, this isn't surprising. The system would work if all followed the policy, procedures and protocol the government outlines.
Unfortunately, there are people working in it who have lost their humanity.
Good for you for sticking to your beliefs.