October 4th, 2018

Windsor families worried about Ford’s cut to temporary flu season funding

In question period on Thursday, local NDP MPPs Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West) and Percy Hatfield (Windsor-Tecumseh) said that Doug Ford is giving hospitals $10 million less to cope with flu season than they received last year, meaning hospital overcrowding in Windsor will go from bad to worse when flu season sets in.

The MPPs added that Ontario hospitals need a long term solution and at least $300 million in annual funding just to stop overcrowding from getting worse.

“Windsor Regional Hospital has struggled with overcrowding for years – and now things are getting even worse,” said Hatfield. “The Met campus is at 99 per cent capacity and the Ouellette campus is at 106 per cent. Wait times in the ER are unbearable. There’s no room – so patients are left on gurneys in the hallways.

“It’ll only get worse when the flu season hits.”

“When will this government do the right thing once and for all and give Windsor hospitals the funding they need to get patients out of the hallways and into the hospital beds they deserve?” asked Hatfield.

This week, Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj issued a statement to staff outlining high occupancy rates at the Metropolitan campus and Ouellette campus, adding that 11 patients are waiting for a bed in the emergency department at the Ouellette campus. Doug Ford announced that this year’s hospital funding for flu season will actually be $10 million less than last year’s funding, with no permanent solution to fix hospital overcrowding throughout Ontario.

The MPPs said that Ford is using the same, temporary and piecemeal approach to hospital funding that the Liberals used, and that won’t end the hallway medicine crisis in Windsor and throughout Ontario.

“The flu season comes every year and yet, each year Liberals and now Conservatives leave health care professionals and Windsor families guessing just how bad things will be,” said Gretzky. “After years of Liberal cuts and funding freezes, our hospitals are in crisis. Rather than doing the right thing and finally giving the hospitals the funding they need to end this overcrowding crisis, the Conservatives are taking the same piecemeal approach as the last government, but this time with even less funding.

“The bottom line is that Liberal and Conservative temporary funding photo ops won’t fix hospital overcrowding.”

“Will this government do the right thing and give hospitals the $300 million they need to stop the hallway crisis from getting worse? Yes or no?” asked Gretzky.