March 17, 2017 – Health care is the top concern of many residents I have spoken with in Kanata-Carleton. As we are finding in our community and across Ontario, health care providers, hospitals, and long term care facilities are grappling with an aging and growing population along with rising costs of delivering care.
This Provincial Liberal Government has had thirteen years to address severe hospital and ER overcrowding along with the growing need for senior care in the community, and to demonstrate self-discipline in controlling growth in expensive health care bureaucracy. It has failed on all counts.
Today, Ontarians face a serious problem with their health care system – and it requires immediate action. I want to be a member of the government that will tackle our health care problems – and I hope to be your representative at Queen’s Park to voice our community’s concerns.
Many Ontario hospitals are now running routinely at over 100% capacity with some reaching as high as 120% over-capacity. This is a serious problem given anything over 85% capacity can lead to greater risk of adverse events and infection. There are patients discharged from hospital to home without adequate supports in place in the community and delays in providing palliative care for patients at the end of life. There are family members afraid to take their loved one back to the hospital in case they are admitted and must start the wait for long-term care all over again.
The Wynne “solution” to the growing need for care has been to freeze the budgets of health care institutions for many years and push care to the community without adequately funding it. The results are that hospitals are now strapped and community health services stretched. This government has restricted access to home care and long-term care while wasting tens of billions of tax payer dollars through its own mismanagement. It has contributed to a bloated bureaucracy through its creation of 14 LHINs while cutting front-line patient services and it will soon add between 70-80 sub-LHINs with high priced vice presidents with potential for an even greater array of executives.
Exasperating this gross mismanagement is the fact that the Wynne government has remortgaged our energy future. The Liberals have burdened generations to come with mountains of debt while adding even more costs to the provision of care as health facilities and Ontarians are required to pick up the tab for Wynne’s self-serving legacy choices.
This cannot be allowed to continue.
In my opinion, we need responsible approaches to address the following health care priorities:
In my subsequent posts I will address each of these priorities. I will detail the core problems and provide a way forward towards solving the systemic and political issues that have placed Ontario’s health care system at a crisis point.
To begin to address the serious challenges Ontarians face with their health care, it will take commitment to a clear direction and the political will to affect change. Again, I hope to be at Queen’s Park to lend my positive voice for change and improve the health care situation for residents of Kanata-Carleton and for all Ontarians.
READ MORE: Dr. Merrilee Fullerton on health care in Ontario