The best and worst hospitals in Toronto
What are the best hospitals in Toronto? What are ones that could use some love? In a country with universal healthcare and hard working doctors, nurses and staff, it's sticky to call out a hospital for its old facilities or long wait times without considering all of the factors. Hospitals in busy downtown neighbourhoods often have higher traffic volumes and older buildings, and construction for necessary updating and streamlining, takes place in already tight quarters.
I'm personally very grateful I can walk into an emergency room and be treated without worrying about the bills that will follow, and I'm happy to pay the taxes and/or wait a little longer so that everyone can be taken care of.
In any work place there is often one bad apple spoiling the bunch. With hospitals an overworked or tired night nurse or doctor with gruff bedside manner, can make for a rotten experience in an otherwise stellar environment. But, as many have experienced, not all hospitals are created equal so take this post as simply a starting point to discuss some of the discrepancies.
UPDATE: As noted above, this article is meant simply as a discussion starter and is not meant to be interpreted as a definitive ranking of any kind. The list below was largely based on suggestions from our Twitter followers and is not based on any analytical or other comprehensive research.
What can you say? It's clear everyone who works at SickKids wants to be there, and the number of non-medical services and care workers, plus the celebrity connections (Argos, Maple Leaf players) keep Sick Kids moneyed, high profile, and as close to a pleasure to visit as any hospital given the unfortunate circumstance that might land you there. Bonus points for an emergency room that's well-streamlined for kids.
The cafeteria ain't great, but the service is stellar. Mount Sinai is well known for quality of natal care, as well as having a wonderful broad community feel. Previously named one of the GTA's top employers (in 2010), the hospital is a major research facility thanks to the presence of Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, which employs over 600 staff.
Like Sick Kids, You can see that the staff enjoys their jobs. There is amazing all-round quality of care. Highlighted by the recently overhauled and gorgeous birthing unit, the hospital is one of the most up to date in the city (save for its power lines). Once part of Sunnybrook, Women's College also deserves major kudos and is getting a major overhaul.
Currently ranked best hospital in outer Toronto in multiple reports, the Credit Valley Hospital is huge and sprawling. It was opened in 1985 so buildings are comparatively new, and are noted for fine natal care, responsive ER, and professional staff. It's crucial medical stats (including mortality and readmission rates) are some of the best in the GTA.
Any downtown emergency is going to be swelled with patients, and St. Mike's is no exception, taking in a ton of traffic- increasing wait times and chaotic ambiance. But St. Mike's has a great reputation for men's health, amongst other care. While it's key clinical stats put it at national averages, patient care services are highly endorsed.
COULD USE AN UPGRADE?
Toronto East General
Aging buildings with a history of long wait times won't win you any favours (the average ER wait time is pegged at over six hours). There is an overarching tired, weary feeling which doesn't create the most welcoming energy in times of need. On the plus side, clinical stats have it as comparable with other hospitals of its size in Canada.
People love to hate on St. Joe's. It's an old, rather confusing building that's in need of some updates, and the emergency can be slow (almost a six hour average wait). Good news is they have moved away from a paper-based filing system to an electronic one (see video here) so things are on the upswing. Also, we received many kudos directed toward St. Joe's nurses and doctors.
A world-class brain and ortho treatment centre, facilities especially designated for artists, the open atrium and other perks can't deflect some of the criticism of the Toronto Western hospital. ER can be slow (over a six hour wait is average), the building a little confusing to navigate, and readmission rates are above the national average. That said, it's important to bear in mind that this is still a world class facility.
What do you think are the best hospitals in Toronto? What are the ones that could use a bit of an upgrade? Add your thoughts to the comments.