Dr. Merrilee Fullerton prescribes change at the top to heal ailing system
January 12, 2017 – A provincial report identifying a widening gap between Liberal fiscal promises and their health care promises suggests there will be further cuts made to health care services in the Province. Though Premier Kathleen Wynne is quick to blame the federal government for failing to provide more health transfer dollars, local health critic Dr. Merrilee Fullerton points to the Wynne Government’s numerous health scandals and gross mismanagement as the real source of the fiscal mess Ontarians now face.
Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer J. David Wake issued a report that demonstrates a gap between the Liberal Government’s promises about what it’s going to spend on health and what it’s actually on track to spend. That report illustrates a $2.8 billion hole in the Liberal Government’s stated health care budget.
“The Ontario Liberals’ waste and mismanagement are making it harder and harder for Ontarians to get the health care and home supports they need,” says Dr. Fullerton. “Wasteful ways of the Ontario Liberals have driven up provincial debt interest charges to $1 billion a month, payments that don’t go to health care or education or other important areas that the public depends on.”
Dr. Fullerton adds, “Premier Wynne blasts Ottawa over what she deems to be inadequate health funding yet shortchanges Ontarians in health care, ordering Ontario health care institutions and providers to do more with less. But this is not the answer. Cutting health care services is not a long-term solution as our population grows, aging escalates, and new science and technology create more options for care.”
The Wake report cites the Liberal’s pledged to reduce the annual increase in health spending to 1.7% between 2015 and 2019, which will include a cut of $900 million in 2017-18 and $1.5 billion in 2018-19. That is over and above the cuts of 2.4% from 2011 to 2015 and 6.8% from 2001 to 2011.
The Ontario health system cannot absorb these further cuts and the answer according to Dr. Fullerton is a change of leadership. “Of immediate attention is the need for a new Health Minister who will have the respect of doctors and health care workers. And then next year, Ontarians will have the chance in the election to pass judgement on the failures of Kathleen Wynne and this Liberal Government. With a change in leadership at the top, confidence in the system can be restored.”
Dr. Fullerton expresses frustration with the continuous bungling of the health care file by Premier Wynne and Health Minister Hoskins. She points to recent harmful actions by the Government.
Dr. Fullerton praised PC MPP Jeff Yurek for his efforts in raising Ontarians’ health care frustrations at Queen’s Park. The MPP welcomed the Financial Accountability Officer’s report as a true indication of what is happening in Ontario’s health care system. “Years of Liberal mismanagement and waste has meant chronic underfunding and cuts to our health care system. Patients are already suffering – we see this every day with the overcrowding at our hospitals, the lack of available family doctors, and the unmanageable waitlists for surgery, mental health services, or a long-term care bed. “
Merrilee Fullerton is seeking the PC nomination in the new riding of Kanata-Carleton so that she may run in the 2018 provincial election. The nomination meeting is expected within the coming months.
Dr. Merrilee Fullerton