March 8th, 2018

$700,000 Liberal claw back to northwestern Ontario hospital funding unacceptable: Horwath

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said that after decades of cuts and underfunding to hospital care, the last thing northwestern Ontario families need is the Liberal government clawing back hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Kenora hospital – which is exactly what Kathleen Wynne is doing.

“For years, this Liberal government has starved hospitals of the funding they need – and they’re still at it,” said Horwath on Thursday, questioning the Wynne Liberals at Queen’s Park. “Instead of funding every hospital properly, we’ve learned that the premier is actually clawing money back from Kenora’s hospital. At the beginning of February, Lake of the Woods District Hospital was projecting a balanced budget. Now, after the clawbacks from this government, they’re facing a huge deficit. Every time this government cuts hospital funding, patients pay the price – with longer wait times and even more overcrowding. That’s the last thing that northwestern Ontario needs.”

Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LOTW) is facing a shortage of over $700,000 after the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care clawed back hospital funds to allocate them elsewhere. Horwath said that with the Liberals clawing back critical hospital funding and the Conservatives pledging to cut at least $6.1 billion in jobs and services, northwestern Ontario families need a change for the better.

“Hospitals have been starved for years by the Liberals – and before that, by the Conservatives,” said Horwath. “We have a dangerous overcrowding crisis. People are being treated in hallways for days on end. Instead of fixing the problems and funding our hospitals properly, we find out that the Liberals are cutting funding for this crucial hospital and making it harder for the people of Northwestern Ontario to get the health care they need.

“Why is this government cutting funding for Kenora’s hospital, when every hospital in Ontario needs more investment, not less? Why won’t this government stop the hospital cuts – and stop cutting funding for Kenora’s hospital?” asked Horwath.

Horwath and the NDP have pledged to give hospitals the resources they need to deliver health care all families can count on, with funding that keeps pace with inflation, population growth and the unique needs of communities like Kenora.