Access to Care and Staff Shortages Highlighted in Ontario Patient Ombudsman Report

A new report suggests a rise in the number of complaints about the quality of health care in Ontario.

The report, from the province’s patient ombudsman, Craig Thompson, says there is also an increase in the use of force by hospital security.

The ombudsman says his office received 22 complaints about alleged assaults by security guards in health-care settings. The report also says the office has seen a 43 percent increase in complaints from patients and caregivers who said they were treated with a lack of sensitivity and caring, particularly while in emergency departments.

Overall, staffing shortages in hospitals and long-term care settings, along with a lack of access to care prompted the largest number of complaints.

While most complaints were filed in the Toronto area and northern Ontario, the annual report, released today, shows more than 3,300 complaints were filed in the 2021-22 year.

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