Each year Ontario hospitals discharge one million people, and of those, about
67,000 people are harmed during their hospital stay. In addition to this, and something that
makes this issue even worse is that the audit found that hospitals are currently not required
to report so-called “never-events” — a medical error that should never happen, such as
leaving a foreign object inside a patient. These are not small numbers by any means,
whereby back in 2015, a team visited six of the 13 hospitals that track “never-events”, and
found that 214 such incidents had occurred. Using basic math, the total number of hospital injuries could be near 100,000 in 2021, putting injuries at about 9% of the hospital stays, which is hardly acceptable numbers. A well-known fact is that we have some long-standing issues our

healthcare system, specifically hospitals, that COVID has put on display. Issues contributing to these injuries are hospital crowding and hallway medicine, which is becoming standard protocol in some hospitals. In addition, hospitals don’t always comply with the required safety standards. There is also the reality that hospitals often rehire nurses who had been repeatedly fired for incompetence. Now, having fired many excellent nurses and healthcare workers due to their choice not to be vaccinated, will this further exasperate this issue since the quality of people may drop. The report concludes that hospitals and nursing agencies should do more to share information about poor-performing nurses.

The collateral fallout of these issues is far-reaching since our already underfunded
healthcare system is required to spend millions due to the injuries. An auditor found that in
one instance, a hospital spent $560,000 and took several years to discipline a doctor who
had “practice issues.” The same physician was also facing disciplinary actions at two other
hospitals simultaneously, which cost those institutions over $1 million. It gets worse since
the taxpayer effectively pays for physicians’ legal costs in discipline matters because the
government reimburses doctors for their malpractice insurance fees. So in reality, doctors
are pretty much made of Teflon, as they can draw out disciplinary cases for years with little
cost to them personally.
In Ontario alone, deaths from such injuries exceed 20,000 per year, which one could argue is
tragic. The sheer neglect and hypocritical actions from Doug Ford, who basically moves the
sun and the earth for anything COVID for which the deaths come nowhere near these
numbers, will spend hundreds of millions of dollars and mobilize the entire provincial
government to leave no stone unturned. Yet, we have a long-standing situation that poses a
greater risk and a far more tragic end who the Premier gives nothing but lip-service every
four years for reasons I can only assume is that it’s not media-worthy, nor does it have a
catchy name like Omicron.

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