Brampton’s health care woes have recently been the talk of the Greater Toronto Area. After the huge number of patients who received care in hospital hallways due to overcrowding was revealed last month, it started important conversations. It also led to significant commitments from the provincial government to fix the issue. Here are five things you should know about the situation.

1. Brampton Civic has been way over capacity

A report that came out back in September which revealed Brampton Civic was overcrowded to the tune of 114 per cent. The facility was originally built to serve 80,000 visitors annually, but has been seeing 138,000 instead.

2. People were being treated in hallways

To deal with the massive overcrowding, 4,352 patients were cared for in the hallways at Brampton Civic Hospital between April 2016 and April 2017. Meaning their beds were literally set up in hallways, and this is where they were treated by nurses and doctors and where family members could visit them.

3. Brampton has wanted a new hospital since the 1970s

Brampton residents and politicians have been calling for a second hospital in the city for decades, which shows how much the city’s health care system is lagging. People originally thought the opening of Civic would be the city’s second hospital, but Peel Memorial closed in 2007, bringing the city back down to one and putting severe strain on the only emergency room in Brampton.

4. Peel Memorial’s urgent care centre wasn’t enough

Despite the opening of Peel Memorial’s urgent care centre, which was supposed to alleviate stress from Civic, the hospital still saw more patients in 2016 and the early part of 2017 who required beds than it could reasonably accommodate. This issue will eventually be fixed now that the province has announced funding to add acute patient beds and a new wing to the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness, though that’s a few years away from completion.

5. Brampton Civic is finally getting more beds

The overcrowding issue has finally received the attention it deserves and has resulted in 37 new beds being added to the hospital before the busy Christmas season. The hospital treated 4,352 patients in hallways last year, an average of 12 patients per day. With 37 new beds, the issue will be mostly fixed. Brampton will continue to grow and more beds will need to be added, but for now, it’s a major step in the right direction.

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