Categorized | Health & Fitness

Cuts to flu season surge funding will make hallway medicine worse

Posted on 10 October 2018 by admin

QUEEN’S PARK — Overcrowded hospitals across the province are being asked to handle this year’s flu surge with fewer resources than last year, and the Ford government continues to signal that deep cuts are coming to Ontario’s health care system.

This week, the Ford government announced flu surge funding that falls $10 million short of funding from the previous year, despite increased pressure on hospitals across the province.

During question period on Thursday, Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath said that the shortfall – and Ford’s total lack of action on creating new permanent beds – is threatening to make things even worse at hospitals that were already struggling badly under Kathleen Wynne.

“For patients worried about whether a hospital bed will be there when they need it, this government’s approach to health care is concerning,” said Horwath. “Warning hospitals that lean financial times are coming is a warning that says ‘get ready for even more cuts.’”

Last year’s flu-season funding from Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals in October 2017 was $100 million. It was far too little, and only provided temporary beds. Now the Ford Tories are promising $10 million less, and trying to make it sound like a good thing.

“You can’t invest less in 2018 and expect things to be better for patients than they were in 2017,” said Horwath.

Today, asked about long-term solutions at Queen’s Park, the health minister talked about further cuts instead of more help for hospitals and patients.

“We’ve got to look under every stone and find out where we can find those savings,” said Christine Elliott of the health care system, echoing earlier warnings from Finance Minister Vic Fedeli that Ontarians will be asked to “make sacrifices” when it comes to public spending.

“‘Modernization,’ ‘transformation,’ and ‘efficiencies’ are the same words that the Liberal government used to cut our hospitals and our health care system,” said Horwath.

“People remember what happened the last time Conservatives controlled hospitals in Ontario. 6,000 nurses were fired as the Conservative premier compared them to outdated hula hoops. 28 hospitals were shuttered all over the province, closing 7,000 hospital beds. Ontarians deserve better. We have to do better.”

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