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As you may have heard last week, the Ontario government has announced a $109 million strategy to reduce Emergency Department Wait Times and to reduce the proportion of ALC patients in hospital. Recognition of the ED/ALC issue is good news for UHN and for patients across the province.
The funding is being split up through various initiatives - one of which is $30 million going to 23 of the provinces busiest ED's. UHN is receiving $1.6 million to facilitate patient care in our two Emergency Departments. Other initiatives include increasing home care service as well as increased funding to LHINs to address ALC pressures.
This is a start to addressing the issue of ED wait times and UHN is also looking at other innovative solutions. One of the things we know from UHN's ED-GIM project is that patient care in the ED is everyone's responsibility since the primary problem causing delays in ED care is slow movement of patients from the ED to our in-patient units. In turn, the most important cause of reduced flow on our in-patient units is lack of availability of care in the community which slows discharges of patients who are ready to leave acute care. I am pleased that the government has recognized this system "connectivity" by linking ED and ALC in these initiatives.
I know the pressures on the system have taken a toll on everyone and I'm grateful to all our staff for their professionalism as we work through these challenges.