Reckless Homecoming behaviour in Kingston putting strain on hospitals: KHSC

Kingston Health Sciences Centre is warning residents that upcoming parties for Homecoming will put a lot of strain on a health-care system that is already overburdened.

In a Twitter thread, KHSC says it is asking partygoers to reconsider.

“We need to have a serious discussion as a community about the impact these events are having on our hospital,” KHSC said. “Large street parties like this take place multiple times per-year and are putting an extreme strain on an already overburdened health-care system.”

KHSC says it has told the city of Kingston and Queen’s University that it can no longer be a “safety net” for these events, as hospitals are dealing with increased patient loads and staffing shortages.

Fifteen people were treated as a result of ‘Faux Homecoming’ events last weekend and they required “complex” and “resource-intensive care.” KHSC says dangerous behaviour, like climbing roofs and hydro poles, are becoming more common.

Last weekend, one person was hurt when they fell from a roof in Kingston’s University District during ‘Faux Homecoming’ parties. Another person was hit by a driver in the University District, though it’s unclear if it was related to the parties.

The city has declared the “University District Safety Initiative” is in effect until Nov. 1 across the University District near the campus of Queen’s University, with increased fines for specific offences related to unsanctioned gatherings.

KHSC says it has a duty to the region beyond the city of Kingston.

“As the largest hospital in the region, we must continue to support the sickest patients. We need to ensure that everyone can access the care they require in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, many of the ED visits during these events are avoidable,” KHSC said.

“While we again have put plans in place for this coming weekend, including opening additional care areas and bringing in extra staff, we’re asking for support from the community.”

KHSC is asking for patience, both with staff and with wait-times, as anyone needing less than the most urgent care will likely be waiting. Anyone attending parties this weekend is asked to be safe.

“But remember, if you suffer a life-threatening/serious illness or injury, please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest ED,” KHSC said. “Our teams will do everything in their power to care for you if you need them.”

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