London-area hospital sees hallway medicine normalized under Wynne government’s watch

Queen’s Park, April 16, 2018 – With a new “Hallway Transfer Protocol” now in place at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) governing the transfer of patients from the Emergency Department, Critical Care, and the Post Anesthetic Care Unit to the hallway, London West MPP Peggy Sattler accused the Liberal government of allowing hallway medicine to become routine hospital practice in Ontario.

“The protocol states that stairwells are not to be used. Stretchers should be lined up on just one side of the hallway,” explained Sattler. “Patients should be regularly assessed for sleep deprivation in order to prevent incidents of violence.”

Sattler attributed hallway medicine at LHSC directly to the Liberal government’s chronic underfunding of Ontario’s health care system. Documents have revealed that LHSC occupancy levels are often well over 100 per cent capacity. In recent months, many Ontarians, including numerous London-area patients, have found themselves stranded in foreign countries because hospitals at home have been too full to transfer them back. Surgeries are being cancelled, often multiple times, because of the lack of recovery beds.

In London, hallway medicine has been the reality for patients for several years.  “Last Thursday the London & District Academy of Medicine held a patient care forum for Londoners to share their experiences with our health care system,” said Sattler. “In 2014, David Cameron-Teixeira waited 4 days in an LHSC hallway. Earlier this month, Dawn Warren waited 5 days in an LHSC hallway.”

“Does this Premier think that a Hallway Transfer Protocol is an acceptable solution to the years of budget cuts that have led to people lining the hallways of LHSC on a regular, ongoing basis?”

Ontario New Democrats have committed to fund hospitals to the rate of inflation and population growth, at minimum, and will consider the unique needs of communities.