October 3rd, 2018

NDP urges Tories to give hospitals no less than $300 million funding bump

Repeat of too-small Liberal funding announcement leaves hospitals overwhelmed

Ontario's hospitals say they need a minimum of $300 million in additional ongoing funding just to keep the hallway medicine problem from getting even worse – and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath said a repeat of last year’s too-little-too-late announcement from the Wynne Liberals is not enough.

“In October 2017, the Wynne’s Liberals’ disappointing announcement of $100 million in one-time hospital bed funding for flu season fell very far short. As a result, the hallway medicine crisis didn’t get better – it got worse,” said Horwath.

“Now, the Ford government needs to recognize that we have to, and we can, do so much better to end the hallway medicine crisis. Hospitals need an actual funding increase to make up for years of frozen budgets and cuts under the Liberals.”

Ontario’s hospitals and patients aren’t just facing an overcrowding crisis during flu season – more than 60 per cent are operating beyond their capacity all-year long. Patients and families continue to report painfully long wait times, with gurneys lining the hallways year round, in hospitals all over the province.

Horwath raised the hallway medicine crisis during question period at Queen's Park Wednesday.

"Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal government cut and froze hospital budgets, and put our hospitals into crisis," said Horwath. "And in his short time in office, Doug Ford has only made things worse. He’s already cut over $330 million in mental health funding, forcing people to go to already overwhelmed emergency rooms for mental health care. His health minister has warned hospitals to get ready to do even more with even less.

"Turning health care around and ending the hallway medicine crisis should be a priority -- not just another status quo disappointment that fails families."