The second stage of the “Plan to Stay Open” has been made public by the provincial government of Ontario in anticipation of what they anticipate to be an increase in respiratory diseases over the course of the next several months.
The plan prioritizes “health stability of the system or recovery” and seeks to increase the number of available hospital beds and the number of health care professionals by the thousands. According to the officials, these increases will assist in reducing the load that has been placed on the larger healthcare system, which has been severely stretched due to personnel shortages over the past few months.
According to the 18-page paper that was made public on Thursday, one of its statements goes as follows: “Traditionally, winter and fall can be when cases of lung infections peak, putting a burden on emergency rooms, hospitals, and also the entire healthcare system, particularly long-term care.”
“In addition, Omicron will be included this year. We must do more in order to meet the existing challenges, make further headway with the surgical backlogs, and ensure that we are adequately prepared for any potential winter spike that may occur.”
The government of the Progressive Conservative Party will propose bills that will make it possible for elderly patients who are currently being treated in a hospital and are having to wait to be situated in a long-term nursing home to be relocated to an alternative treatment center, possibly located in another community, until the spot they prefer becomes available.
The newly implemented policy is expected to make available an additional 250 hospital beds during the first 6 months of its implementation.
The government has stated that there will be “mandated guidelines” used to guarantee patients remain near to their family members and that there will be no additional fees; however, very few specifics regarding what these criteria comprise have been published.
By end of this summer, COVID-19 patients will also have access to long-term care beds that had been reserved for isolation purposes. According to the officials, this decision was reached based on the opinion of the medical director of health and it will open up a total of a thousand beds within the next 6 months.
They also seek to build on a program that enables paramedics to treat patients on the spot or transport them to a location other than the emergency department to do so. According to the government, a pilot experiment has shown that 94 percent of patients were able to avoid visiting the emergency room in the following days of their treatment.
Instead of producing brand new hospital beds, the proposal calls for the implementation of policies that will “open up” as well as “make available” existing ones.
The Progressive Conservatives have committed to increasing the number of health care employees in Ontario’s system by up to 6,000.
In order to accomplish this goal, the government has decided to temporarily pay for the cost of the examination, approval process, as well as registration fees for nurses who were trained internationally or who are retired. They believe this will reduce the number of financial barriers that workers face and save them approximately $1,500.
It is not known how much money will be taken from taxpayers to cover this.
Now at end of March, a strategy known as “Plan to Stay Open” was proposed as a way to “build a stronger, better robust healthcare system which is better equipped to respond to a disaster.”
It included increasing the minimum wage for personal support workers on a permanent basis, establishing two new medical schools, making a financial outlay in nursing education programs, bolstering domestic manufacturing of personal protective equipment, and establishing 3,000 additional hospital beds over the course of the following decade.
This is a brand-new piece of breaking news. More to come.
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