Province ups bed count at Brampton Civic

By: Surjit Singh Flora

New beds com­ing soon – to a hos­pital near you.

The province an­nounced plans Tuesday to up bed capacity at Bramp­ton Civic Hospital, as local physicians continue to grap­ple with wait times and capacity is­sues due to the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott, alongside William Osler Health System CEO Dr. Naveed Mohammed, made the announce­ment, which will see $116.5 million invested across the province to add 766 beds at 32 hospitals.

Osler will add up to 87 beds through the new funding, with 41 added to Brampton Civic and 46 at Etobi­coke General.

“We will spare no expense to protect the health and safety of the peo­ple in Brampton and across On­tario,” said Ford, who indicated that the announcement follows on a pledge to end hallway health care and re­duce wait times.

“We are taking another step today to keep that prom­ise by adding hun­dreds more hospital beds across the province. This will not only ensure we are ready for any surges in COVID-19 cases, but pro­vide patients with the care they need and deserve close to home.”

The new funds bring the total amount in funding $351 million for more than 2,250 new beds at 57 hospitals and al­ternate health fa­cilities across the province.

In recent weeks, Peel Region, along with Toronto, York Region and other hotspots, have seen increased case counts and positivity rates for COVID-19 cases, stoking fears of a second wave of the virus.

The new beds are not only intended to alleviate pres­sures on the health system but ensure that elective and needed surgeries can continue unin­terrupted.

“As Osler contin­ues to respond to COVID-19 and an­ticipates higher demands for inpa­tient care over the coming months, this critical invest­ment in hospital capacity will fur­ther strengthen our ability to de­liver high-quality, compassionate health care serv­ices to our pa­tients,” said Mohammed, who spoke of the efforts of frontline work­ers to respond during the onset of the pandemic.

For some, though, the invest­ment isn’t enough.

Local MPPs, speaking after Ford’s announce­ment, said that his statement about expanding Peel Memorial rang hollow, given how they refused to commit to funding a hospital a year earlier.

Speaking Tues­day afternoon, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown welcomed the an­nouncement, say­ing the funding was needed in the wake of the city declaring a health­care emergency and advocating for additional support from the province.

“The people of Brampton wait hours in long lines at Peel Memorial, and Brampton Civic is the epicenter of dangerous hallway medicine,” said Brampton-East NDP MPP Gurratan Singh. “People in our community de­serve so much bet­ter than long painful and anx­ious waits.”

“Brampton’s health care system has been over­crowded and un­derfunded for too long and the hall­way medicine cri­sis has been compounded by the pandemic. We are in dire need of support from the Province, and we welcome this posi­tive step in the right direction for our community as part of the Province’s fall pre­paredness plan, especially as Peel is now in the sec­ond wave of COVID-19,” said Brown.

About the author

Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora

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