Toronto hospitals and medical responders are bracing for a busy summit weekend, practicing simulation drills, updating emergency preparedness plans and in some cases, asking patients to reschedule appointments.
Hospitals are also trying to free up bed space during the summit week. The University Health Network — which includes the Princess Margaret, Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals — is no longer accepting appointments for the day prior to the summit and asking patients to reschedule non-essential appointments on June 25, said UHN spokesperson Gillian Howard. The hospital will also try to expedite patient discharges that have already been scheduled.
Ain’t it grand that hospitals can suddenly free up inpatient beds when the Powerful and Mighty need to preen for the cameras, press the flesh and do Something Universally Important? When the rest of the time patients are left to rot in the Emergency Department hallways? And then there is this:
Obviously, there will also be medical plans for visiting dignitaries or heads of state who get injured or fall sick. While details are confidential, a Health Canada spokesperson said contingency plans for foreign VIPs include access to emergency medical care and a “comprehensive food surveillance program.”
It warms the very cockles of my heart, it does, knowing the Planetary Elites will be able to access the best in Canadian health care. And then what happens to the very ordinary patients who need to access the Big Downtown Hospitals from the ‘burbs and across the province when the summit is on? Like your son with the cerebral bleed, or your mother who needs the emergency cardiac catheterization? Maybe there should be some thought to that, rather than worrying about the quality of the Arctic char and the ice wines.
I might be a little crusty because I started off Friday morning with eight Admits in the Emergency Department and somehow ended up with twelve by end of shift, including two Day 4’s. Bleh.