Lakeridge Health consolidated ICUs, Bowmanville unit moves to Oshawa and Ajax-Pickering.


Published July 28, 2022 at 7:20 pm

Lakeridge Health is consolidating it’s intensive care units across Durham Region with the temporary closure of the ICU in the Bowmanville hospital, extending travel time for vulnerable patients.

The health care provider is moving their Bowmanville services to their locations in Ajax-Pickering and Oshawa. The move will put healthcare services 15 minutes further away to Oshawa, and 30 minutes away in Ajax-Pickering.

The move comes as numerous hospital across the province see record emergency room wait-times and staff shortages. Bowmanvile’s hospital wait times were slightly worse than the Ontario average of 1.9 hours.

However, Ajax-Pickering, expected to pick up some of the slack from Bowmanville’s now-closed ICU sees wait times half an hour longer than that average at 2.4 hours until a first assessment.

This staff shortage and long waits have led to increasing frustrations from doctors, nurses and patients. Oshawa’s hospital has recently been described as “like a warzone” by patients.

These mounting pressures have led many hospital staff to leave the field, hitting rural areas the hardest. Lakeridge Health directly cited this shortage as the reason for the ICU closure.

“Providing the safest care and preserving our ability to provide acute emergency services, including critical care, remains our top priority,” said Lakeridge Health in a statement.

“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,” they continued.

“This decision was not made lightly.”

Lakeridge said they will continue to monitor the situation regularly and resume ICU services in Bowmanville ‘as quickly and safely” as they can.

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