Ontario’s affected person ombudsman says his workplace has seen a 33 per cent enhance in complaints, and famous a “troubling” pattern in issues accessing main care.
Craig Thompson, the province’s affected person ombudsman, launched his workplace’s annual report Wednesday with its findings.
His workplace acquired 4,388 complaints over the 2022-23 yr, 3,235 of these coming by way of its name centre and the rest by way of written complaints. Hospitals, together with the 4 principal pediatric hospitals, grew to become overrun final fall and winter with influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, sufferers.
The ombudsman’s knowledge gives “perception as to what’s working and, extra importantly, what shouldn’t be,” Thompson famous.
“What’s notable, and troubling, is the numerous development in non-jurisdictional complaints which can be principally associated to main care and echo some all-too-familiar themes: persons are having hassle accessing main care, have restricted choices for his or her care, and sometimes have nowhere to show,” he stated within the report.
“These non-jurisdictional complaints spotlight a big and rising want being met by this workplace: system navigation.”
Researchers have urged upwards of two.2 million Ontarians are with out a main care physician. The dearth of main care help has a knock-on impact on the remainder of the health-care system, officers have stated, notably hospital emergency departments.
The affected person ombudsman’s function is to assist resolve complaints from health-care sufferers and residents in long-term care properties and in residence and neighborhood care.
The very best variety of complaints, about half in complete, concerned hospitals, which was unsurprising, the report famous.
“As in prior years, issues about high quality of care, prognosis/remedy and discharge or switch have been the highest three complaints about hospitals,” the report stated.
The ombudsman noticed a big drop in complaints that concerned long-term care properties to 334 complaints this previous yr in comparison with 858 within the coronary heart of the pandemic two years prior.
“The easing of restrictions on visiting, widespread COVID-19 vaccination, and authorities investments in staffing and an infection prevention and management doubtless contributed to the return to pre-pandemic ranges of complaints,” the report stated.
Thompson can be involved in regards to the rising variety of complaints outdoors its jurisdiction.
“A rising variety of complaints contact on conditions that not solely fall outdoors of affected person ombudsman’s jurisdiction however don’t have any applicable oversight or referral mechanism,” the report stated.
“Going ahead, our workplace will begin analyzing the information collected to higher perceive this unaddressed want.”
The report additionally highlights a couple of of its complaints.
“Affected person ombudsman was contacted by a member of the family who expressed concern that their mother or father’s don’t resuscitate order was not adopted in a hospital emergency division,” the report stated. “The affected person was resuscitated, and the household needed to make the painful determination to take away life help.”
One other affected person complained a few go to to a hospital emergency division with signs of a coronary heart assault. The affected person waited in line to see the triage nurse.
“When the affected person’s caregiver left the road to advise the triage nurse of the affected person’s deteriorating state the triage’s nurse’s response was that there have been 10 different folks in line that may very well be having a coronary heart assault and so they wanted to attend their flip,” the report stated.
“The nurse introduced to the ready room that they have been the one triage nurse and had already labored a 12-hour shift.”
The affected person and caregiver left for a second hospital greater than 100 kilometres away the place the affected person was “rapidly triaged and testing confirmed a coronary heart assault. The affected person was transferred to a cardiac care unit for surgical procedure.”
One other affected person complained about an hours-long wait in an emergency division whereas having a miscarriage.
“The affected person described almost passing out within the washroom whereas actively bleeding and being yelled at by a clerk and whereas one other clerk rolled their eyes at her,” the report stated.
“The affected person described the dearth of compassion and care as astounding.”
The ombudsman helped the girl join with that hospitals’ affected person relations consultant, who then provided to assist her entry helps for perinatal loss.