Lakeridge Health Bowmanville ICU reopens fully tomorrow


Published September 6, 2022 at 5:45 pm

The Intensive Care Unit at Lakeridge Health Bowmanville will reopen its doors to patients tomorrow.

Lakeridge Health announced the reopening shortly after 5 on September 6 in advance of service resumption on September 7. Their ICU closed on July 28 amid a severe hospital staff shortage impacting Ontario.

“We recognize the impact of this temporary relocation on patients and their families. We thank our community for their patience and understanding at this time,” Lakeridge said at the time, “This decision was not made lightly.”

This staff shortage has resulted in rolling closures across the province. At least 25 hospitals in Ontario have closed units or reduced services over the summer, peaking over the Civic Holiday long weekend in August.

Recent Statistics Canada data indicates the staff shortage is only set to worsen as nearly 25 per cent of nurses, 16 per cent of PSWs and 11 per cent of doctors looking to leave the field over the next three years.

While the Bowmanville closure did not affect the overall amount of ICU beds in the Lakeridge Health network, patients from Bowmanville had to travel 15 minutes away to Oshawa hospital or 30 minutes to Ajax-Pickering.

These hospitals were already dealing with considerable strain at the time as well. The staff shortage led patients to describe Oshawa hospital as “like a warzone,” as wait times rose to 1.9 hours in Oshawa and 2.4 hours (30 minutes above the Ontario average) in Ajax-Pickering before even seeing a doctor.

The full closure of the Bowmanville ICU continued until August 17 when Lakeridge Health announced they would resume some critical care services there. While some services were restored at that time, the ICU had not fully returned.

However the ICU is set to resume services tomorrow per the Lakeridge announcement. The hospital network said, “We are grateful to the many staff and physicians who worked tirelessly to ensure we could return these services as quickly as possible.”




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