A holiday surge

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone in our community had a wonderful holiday season and was able to spend some time with family and friends.

Our hospitals experienced the hustle and bustle of the holiday season too – most notably in our Emergency Departments (EDs). Over the past couple of weeks, thousands of people have passed through both Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General EDs for care for themselves or for their loved ones. At the top of the New Year, we saw an all time record high of patient visits to both EDs exceeding 640 patients per day.

We understand from our local health system partners that family physician offices, walk-in clinics and urgent care centres have been managing surges as well.

We were very busy over the holidays particularly as this flu season grips the community. Osler and community health care providers developed strategies to deal with the higher-than-expected volumes well before the holiday season. It was a challenging time and we continued to focus on the delivery of timely, safe and compassionate care to all patients and their families.

Our recent Telephone Town Hall, which we hosted with the Central West CCAC, Central West LHIN, Headwaters and Region of Peel Health Services is another example of how we are continuing to build and strengthen our relationship with our partners and help people better understand how we work together to provide health services to the community.

This focus on strengthening partnerships with local health service providers is a significant component of Osler’s new corporate Strategic Plan, which is set to be launched in the coming months. As part of this Strategic Plan and in the spirit of continuous improvement, we will be exploring a number of new opportunities with our partners. Through initiatives including new Primary Care Panels, the creation of a joint role with a partner organization and ongoing Telephone Town Hall meetings, we are poised to work differently and in new and more collaborative ways to help ensure residents of our region have access to the services they need, when and where they need them most.

We know that there is still a lot of work to be done to improve and increase access, but we are looking forward to this journey alongside our health system partners. Look out for more information and details about the launch of our new corporate Strategic Plan over the coming weeks and months.

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