QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of the Ontario NDP, and MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt), NDP Health critic, issued the following response to the Ford government’s bill to fund for-profit clinics:
“This morning we learned that ERs across Ontario were forced to close 158 times last year as a result of the staffing crisis in our health care system. That’s thousands of hours where communities were unable to access emergency care.
Make no mistake – Doug Ford’s decisions made that crisis worse. Today, his government made another decision to deepen the crisis they created.
Ontarians need shorter wait times now.
Ford’s Conservatives are so set on opening up our public health care to private shareholders that they’re ignoring public sector solutions.
The NDP are making a different choice.
We are going to spend every day of this next session advocating for fresh solutions to fix the public system, not sell it off.
As just one example, we could increase surgical capacity today by using ORs in the public system that are currently sitting empty, if we adequately funded the doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists, instead of suppressing their wages.
We know that people are counting on their local health care systems to be there when they need it. We know that people are counting on the NDP to protect publicly funded and delivered health care and ensure that health care is accessible to everyone, no matter where they live.
There’s no doubt that Ontarians deserve better. Today, we are deciding to advocate for a better future”.