#Ontario; #HospitalsCapacityExpanded; #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa, Apr 16 (Canadian-Media): Acting on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health care professionals, the Ontario government has added 1,035 acute care beds and 1,492 critical care beds and taken steps to ensure hospitals have the staff available to care for a sudden surge in patients due to COVID-19, media reports said.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
This has resulted in Ontario having a total of 20,354 acute care beds with a potential for an additional 4,205 more acute care beds by April 30, 2020.
Of Ontario's 3,504 critical care beds, 2,811 are now equipped with ventilators, up from 1,319 when the outbreak first started.
The hospitals' bed capacity has been done keeping in mind pandemic staffing plans to ensure each hospital has the physicians and staff needed, including in case of a major surge of cases.
Measures included were: Redeploying surgical nursing staff to work with medicine units; Sharing highly trained emergency and intensive care nursing staffs across units; Sharing physician resources across hospitals in a given region; Recruiting family doctors to complete shifts within the hospital; and Recruiting retirees, including nursing and support services.
Additional opportunities and resources have been explored by the hospitals to add new beds, including through the use of field hospitals, conference centres, school locations and more. Sites are ready to open based on the needs of the community.
Included in the Ontario’s hospitals' pandemic plans were postponing some elective surgeries and reorganizing and transfering alternate level of care patient to appropriate locations.
Several other measures adopted included the launch of Ontario’s online self-assessment tool, opening assessment centres, increasing Telehealth capacity and the ability to virtually consult with emergency department doctors.
Recently an order was placed by Ontario with O-Two Medical Technologies to produce 10,000 ventilator units, along with the support of Ontario's world-class manufacturing sector.