End hallway medicine by treating patients

Eliminating hallway medicine is a good thing – and it should be done by increasing capacity and front-line staff, not just removing hallway medicine beds.

The Saskatoon Health Region announced today it will remove its 20 hallway medicine beds by June 5 – but came up short in planning to properly manage the current patient-load. 

“There are far too many patients still put into hallway beds. Removing the beds isn’t removing patients or their needs,” said NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier. “The New Democrats have been proposing solutions to hallway medicine, and increasing capacity to treat patients appropriately is the bottom line.”

The NDP has been calling for the following changes in the vision to end hallway medicine.

  • More front-line medical staff on each shift, and fewer managers and Lean consultants.

  • Increasing services for people before they end up in the hospital, including additional home care capacity and more mental health supports and treatment options.

  • Reopening City Hospital for proper, full use. Currently, acute care is shut down; the emergency room is closed more than 12 hours every day and dozens of rooms built for acute care patients are being used as offices for management and administration.

Chartier said she’s already heard from too many people who have been pushed through hospitals like they’re car parts on assembly lines, and sent home early. Treating patients like they’re on an assembly line is literally the foundation of John Black Lean, which was created in the Toyota car factory in Japan.

“The John Black Lean mantra is to shrink capacity, then treat people like car parts on an assembly line to move them through faster,” said Chartier. “Cutting hallway beds is the desired outcome of strong solutions – but cutting beds can’t be the only step and the solution itself. This government needs to use some good Saskatchewan common sense when it comes to properly caring for patients.”

- 30 -

For more information, contact:
Doyle Fox, NDP caucus