March 9th, 2018

21 per cent of all acute care beds occupied by long-term care patients over past five years

Situation even worse in Western and Northern Zones

HALIFAX – According to data obtained by the NDP Caucus under Freedom of Information, over the past five years 21 per cent of all acute care beds in hospitals province-wide have been occupied by patients waiting for long-term care.

“Health care is in serious crisis. Emergency rooms are either closed or overcrowded and paramedics can’t transfer patients because of a lack of beds,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “Too many of our hospital beds are being used as long-term care beds because the Liberals have failed to open a single new nursing home bed in the past five years.”

The situation is much worse in the Western Zone and Northern Zone of the Health Authority where roughly 30 per cent of the acute care beds have been occupied by patients waiting for placement in long-term care.

“The Liberals’ lack of attention to the crisis in health care is astounding,” said Tammy Martin, NDP Spokesperson for Health. “ If we want to solve the problems in our emergency rooms, we need to urgently address the lack of beds in long-term care.”

Gary MacLeod is the chair of Advocates for the Care of the Elderly. He has had two relatives go through the process of getting long-term care.

"We need more nursing home beds. Family members shouldn't be burned out trying to keep aging parents or grandparents at home when they know it can’t be done with just two hours of home care per day," said MacLeod.

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A breakdown of the numbers can be viewed here.