Woman Stuck Waiting in Brampton Hospital Hallway Launches Petition

Two week ago, it was reported that a woman was stuck waiting in the hallways of Brampton Civic Hospital (BCH) for up to five days back in March. The lack of a bed for Jamie-Lee Ball was due to overcrowding in the hospital, known as Code Gridlock; it got to a point in the hospital where the only place available for Ball, who was suffering from internal bleeding, was the hospital's hallway.

Ball's family has not taken this lying down, starting a petition calling on Queen's Park to add up to 200 in-patient beds at BCH or Peel Memorial Hospital. The full text from the petition starts by providing background information on the situation:

The current facility, Brampton Civic Hospital is overwhelmed with patients. BCH is forced to accommodate patients in hallways instead of proper hospital rooms. The provincial average for funded hospital beds is currently 2.3 beds per 1000; based on this average, Brampton should have 1,205 beds for a population of 523,900 people.

BCH has only 608 beds for the city of Brampton and the surrounding areas. Peel Memorial Centre does not have any beds for overnight stay, it is strictly an outpatient/urgent care facility. Converting some of the new Peel Memorial Centre to include beds would be the quickest way to address this urgent situation in Brampton.

People who sign this online petition will have their signature added to a message that will be delivered to Premier Kathleen and her Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins:

Dear Premier Wynne, and Dr. Hoskins:

As a concerned citizen of the City of Brampton, I have a very serious concern regarding the state of healthcare in our fair city. I am appalled at seeing reports that the only full-time hospital in Brampton, the staff are forced to place patients wherever there is space available, be it in the hallway, closet, etc. I find this to be an outrageous situation both for staff and patients.

The provincial average for the number of funded beds per 1,000 people is 2.3. In Brampton, with a population of 523,900 people, based on this average there should be 1,205 funded beds available; there are currently 608 beds available at Brampton Civic. This must be corrected immediately!

The fastest way to add funded beds would be to convert some of the recently opened Peel Memorial Centre into a facility with funded beds to help with the overcrowding at Brampton Civic Hospital. The need for a second hospital for Brampton was identified in the early 1970s. Brampton has waited long enough.

You have a chance to correct this NOW. Please do the right thing!

Thank you for your consideration.

At any other time, a petition of this kind most likely would get lost in the ether of the Ontario Legislature and rarely get attention from the people in government. But considering that Premier Wynne is rock bottom in the polls and likely willing to do anything to salvage her sagging popularity, this seems like one of those low hanging fruits that are no-brainers for desperate politicians to latch onto.

So kudos for the family of Ms. Ball to take the initiative to request the provincial government to expand the capacity of BCH and Peel Memorial.

They may actually succeed.

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