Healthcare in Brampton has been a hot topic of conversation for decades. The city has been asking for more hospital funding since the 1970s, and as the local population continues to boom, the need for more allocated healthcare dollars has become even more pressing.

To address the issue, Brampton residents are hosting a town hall to discuss hallway medicine with local PC MPPs Amarjot Singh (Brampton West) and Prabmeet Sarkaria (Brampton South).

The overcrowding issue came to a head when a report revealed that 4,352 patients were treated in the hallways of Brampton Civic between April 2016 and April 2017. One patient, Jamie-Lee Ball, made headlines last April after spending 5 days waiting in a hallway for treatment at Civic.

The organizer of the event, Ameek Singh, says the town hall is in direct response to the lack of consultation on the issue in Brampton, especially given that it’s ground zero for hallway medicine in Ontario. In fact, as recently as last year Brampton Civic had one of the highest instances of code gridlock in the province — meaning the hospital was at or over capacity.

The province is in its budget deliberations and the organizers of the event hope that the town hall will be a more vocal way to advocate for funds for another hospital with an emergency room, the next round of expansions at Peel Memorial, and for an after-hours clinic that can be accessed by those in need of urgent care but not necessarily an emergency room.

The City of Brampton recently submitted its pre-budget consultations to the province and healthcare funding was among its requests. They also requested that the Ford government look at adjusting its funding formula to more accurately fund rapidly growing communities like Brampton.

Currently, Brampton’s hospital system is the lowest funded in Ontario. As part of the Central West Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN) — which includes Brampton Civic, Peel Memorial and Etobicoke General — Brampton receives the least amount of funding per capita from the province for hospital funding.

To top that off, the emergency room at Brampton Civic continues to operate well above capacity. It was originally built to handle 200 patients per day but sees upwards of 500 patients daily.

The town hall happens Tuesday, March 5 at Mount Pleasant Village Library (100 Commuter Drive) from 7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m.