Staffing woes in Ontario’s health system drive growth in patient complaints – CBC

‘It’s likely that these stresses will continue for some time,’ says patient ombudsman in new report

Mar 07, 2023

Inadequate staffing in hospitals and long-term care homes around Ontario is at the root of a growing number of complaints from patients, says a new report from the province’s health-system watchdog.

Ontario’s patient ombudsman received more than 3,000 complaints last year. The ombudsman’s annual report says common themes include a lack of staffing and a lack of access to care.

“The complaints we received last year demonstrated the strain that everyone — both patients and care providers — is under,” says the report, to be released Tuesday morning. The patient ombudsman provided an advance copy to CBC News.

The report cites a 43 per cent increase in the number of patients and caregivers who reported that they were treated with a lack of “sensitivity, caring, courtesy or respect” at hospitals.

That increase signals that the strain faced by patients and health-care providers is affecting interactions at a personal level, said patient ombudsman Craig Thompson in an interview.

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