Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Complaints of patients

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The Ombudsmans office received a total of 3306 complaints in the last financial year More than 60 percent of these complaints are related to government hospitals

Ontario patients filed thousands of complaints last year. It highlighted issues such as communication, insensitivity and lack of respect for caregivers with patients and their families. A new report by the province’s patient ombudsman says so.

According to the report published on Tuesday morning, the Office of the Patient Ombudsman received a total of 3,306 complaints in the last financial year. More than 60 percent of these complaints are related to government hospitals. The remaining 10 per cent of complaints relate to long-term care home services in Ontario. There are also complaints about the establishment of home and community care and other health care providers.

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According to the report, 10 percent of patients or caregivers expressed concern about inappropriate, unsafe, and poor planning for patient discharge or transfer. Complaints have also been made about the rigors and waiting times in inspections.

Ombudsman Craig Thompson said the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of our healthcare system. One thing that emerged from the complaints received last year is the stress both patients and healthcare providers are under. We are getting more complaints about sensitivity, service delivery, warmth and respect.

The report notes that the pressures Ontario’s health care system is under are unlikely to recede anytime soon.

The number of complaints by patients and caregivers about insensitivity and disrespect in hospital emergency departments is up 43 percent from last year. These complaints are mainly about the emergency room. Patients and caregivers also complained about poor communication in addition to frustration with waiting times.

The most serious allegation cited in the report was that an elderly man died in a hospital emergency department without the presence of a relative.

Eleven percent of the complaints were related to hospital discharges. A 90-year-old patient admitted with an infection was given a discharge letter from the hospital, according to a complaint. It says that if he does not leave the hospital during this time, he will have to pay the daily fee.

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