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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Thompson

Our public hospitals are on their knees: Jim Stewart

ORs being used for storage as province funds private clinics: health group

The Waterloo Region Health Coalition says public hospitals are desperately underfunded while the provincial government is pouring money into private clinics

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Dr. Michael Lawrie, retired chief of staff of Cambridge Memorial Hospital, and Jim Stewart, chair of the Waterloo Region Health Coalition, sound the alarm about increased privatization of the health care system in Ontario at a news conference Wednesday in Waterloo. Catherine Thompson, Waterloo Region Record

One of the six operating rooms at Cambridge Memorial Hospital is being used for storage because of a lack of funding.

That was one example of how the hospital system is being bled dry and is constrained from operating even at its current capacity, said the Waterloo Region Health Coalition, at a news conference Wednesday in Waterloo.

Unused and underused operating affects wait-lists for procedures, said Dr. Michael Lawrie, the retired chief of staff of Cambridge Memorial Hospital, at the event.

“Hospitals are limited by their funding as to how many hours of operating room time they can provide,” Lawrie explained, noting that operating rooms often sit idle in the evenings. “The capacity is there, but funding and human resources are a problem.”

A total of five operating rooms in the region are regularly not in use, said Jim Stewart, chair of the local coalition. 


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