By Tami Eagen – Sydenham Current
It is the time of year when the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance starts to notice medical surges and an increase patient volume.
Lori Marshall, president and CEO of the CKHA, said flu outbreaks in the community, as well as in long-term care facilities, increase the need for medical care.
Marshall said this year CKHA has received one-time funding from the Ministry for $302,500, which will allow the hospital to fund five beds and the staff to care for those patients.
In the past, Marshall said CKHA has had to present data back to the Ministry, which demonstrated an increase of capacity for a period of time in order to receive those funds after the fact.
“What this does for us is it dramatically changes, even though the dollar amount might be the same, being able to plan is much different than being reimbursed retrospectively,” Marshall said, during an update to the media on Friday, November 30.
Without the upfront funding the decision to open beds as required and would have resulted in overtime for staff,” Marshall said.
“You are asking staff to do overtime at a time when they also may be sick and so it almost compounds things because we generally have a higher sick time rate during surge as well. Then they work overtime, they get tired and if they weren’t sick before, they get sick during and after,” Marshall added.
Marshall said two temporary full-time nursing positions will be filled until March 31,2019.
Existing part-time staff will be part of the support for those patients as well.