Access to Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Provincial Centres of Excellence for ALL people w/ SCI.
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Currently there are six Provincial Centres of Excellence for spinal cord injury (SCI) rehab in Ontario. These Centres are available to all people who suffer a spinal cord injury, EXCEPT those that require long term mechanical ventilation. The Province of Ontario does not provide the resources/funding for these Centres to accommodate people requiring long term mechanical ventilation.
SCI patients that require ventilation are warehoused in their community hospital ICUs,
- Community hospital ICUs are not equipped to provide SCI rehab.
- It costs taxpayers over $2 million a year to keep a healthy person with a disability in an ICU (compared to $200,000 a year to live in the community with resources).
- A ICU bed occupied by a healthy patient requiring ventilation is now not available for patients who truly require critical care.
- A disabled person does not receive the rehab or resources they require to integrate back into the community.
- A healthy disabled individual, living in an ICU, usually contract a variety of secondary complications such as pressure ulcers, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and life-threatening sepsis.
We ask that the Minister of Health immediately allow SCI patients requiring ventilation access to rehabilitation. Upon completion of rehab, these same patients are entitled to the same community supports that are in place for all individuals with a disability.
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