Province providing $1M to address ‘hallway health care’ at Cobourg’s Northumberland Hills Hospital

The Ontario government is providing Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg with more than $1 million in base funding to address so-called “hallway health care.”

On Thursday, Northumberland-Peterborough South PC MPP David Piccini announced the hospital will receive $1,003,504 in base funding and up to $335,940 in one-time funding from the province. He said the investment is an increase in base funding that’s above the provincial average.

Hospital president and CEO Linda Davis says the funding will provide additional beds to help address patient wait times.

“The dollars you (Piccini) have announced today will help fund additional beds our team has already had to open in fiscal year 2019-20 in order to meet local patient needs,” Davis said. “NHH’s previous base funding provided for 96 beds. An additional eight beds are supported temporarily through one-time surge dollars for a total funded bed count of 104.”

Davis said that with a growing and aging population in Northumberland County, patient surge is a reality every month.

“Two months into the current fiscal year, we are continuing to average inpatient occupancy well above our funded 104 threshold, with an average of 121 and 118 inpatients, respectively, for April and May 2019,” she said.

“These new dollars will help prevent us from having to house patients in hallways or unconventional spaces because beds are not available, and this will make a very significant difference to the patients we serve and the care providers who deliver that care.”

Piccini noted the funding is part of the province’s $384 million in increased operational funding for hospitals.

“Our government has made many landmark health-care investments within the last year, including this funding announcement at NHH,” he said. “I appreciate the ongoing, tireless work of the team at Northumberland Hills Hospital, and this investment will support their continued efforts to deliver high-quality, patient-centred care to the residents of Northumberland.”

NHH board chair Pam Went echoed Davis’ sentiment and gratitude for the support.

“Specifically, I want to thank you for the base funding adjustment,” she said. “For many years, this hospital struggled with an operating shortfall and one-time, last-minute funding adjustments that hampered our ability to do effective long-term planning. The base increase you’ve announced today will help build the stability and sustainability of the acute care services we provide.”

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