March 9th, 2018

Horwath in Windsor, demands Wynne open mental health beds at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare immediately

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was in Windsor Friday talking about the hospital overcrowding and wait-times crisis – and said that dozens of mental health beds are sitting unused at Hôtel-Dieu Grace because Kathleen Wynne refuses to fund them.

Horwath was joined by joined by Windsor West NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky, Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield and Essex MPP Taras Natyshak in front of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare to say that the beds can be used to help those in need of mental health services, but only if Wynne delivers the funding, immediately.

“Windsor families are struggling with a mental health system in crisis. Decades of cuts by consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments have left behind overcrowded hospitals and long wait-lists for care. These beds could alleviate some of the pressure, it’s astonishing to me that Kathleen Wynne is leaving them empty.” said Horwath.

Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare has 89 beds on their campus that remain unoccupied due to a lack of operating dollars. The hospital wants to use the additional capacity for a geriatric transition unit that would provide care for seniors from across the region with complex behavioral needs. Right now, seniors with dementia end up in acute care on medical floors of hospitals, contributing to the overcrowding that health care professionals deal with every day. As wait lists for mental health services continue to grow across the province, funding these ready-to-use beds would give much needed relief to an already over-burdened sector.

“The Liberal government has had over a decade to fix mental health services, but instead they have made the situation worse with Conservative-style cuts and budget freezes,” said Horwath. “After decades of switching between Conservatives and Liberals, look where we are. We need to stop choosing between bad and worse when it comes to health care. It’s time for something completely different. We need change for the better – for Windsor families, that starts with funding these beds immediately.”

Horwath is committed to giving seniors and all Ontarians health care that they can count on and overhauling mental health and addiction services through a dedicated Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. She has promised that an NDP government would fund hospitals, at minimum, to the rate of inflation, population growth and to meet the unique needs of communities.