Wynne government needs a strategy to face the opioid crisis: NDP
During Question Period today, France Gélinas, Ontario NDP health critic, demanded the Wynne government take action to stop the rising number of deaths in Ontario as a result of fentanyl and opioid overdoses.
“Despite the rise in tragic deaths in Ontario, as a result of fentanyl and opioid overdoses, the Wynne Liberal government still has no real-time monitoring of such deaths to assist physicians and public health officials trying to deal with this health crisis,” said Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt.
Data on overdose deaths in Ontario is managed by the Ontario Chief Coroner’s Office-but the latest statistics only cover up to 2015. Final figures for that year will only be available in 2017.
“We have the worst of all worlds in Ontario today because families are losing their loved ones to these powerful drugs, people are losing access to medications needed to control their pain and the government is losing the public health battle because it doesn’t have the most up-to-date information needed to respond appropriately to this crisis,” Gélinas said.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care must commit to obtaining opioid overdose data in the province in real time, with clear and accurate information on how big the problem is, so that the government will be in a position to develop the policies and programs that are needed to make an impact in the right populations.