QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario NDP Leader, Marit Stiles, introduced her first opposition day motion as Leader of the Official Opposition that, if passed, would have ensured that Ontario’s operating rooms received the funding and resources necessary to operate at full capacity.
The Ford government voted down the motion, dismissing practical, common-sense solutions to a crisis they created.
Currently, more than one third of operating rooms in Ontario’s public hospitals do not meet the 90 per cent target for use, leaving facilities across the province sitting idle because there aren’t enough staff or resources to ensure they can operate.
“Make no mistake – today’s health care crisis is a manufactured one,” said Stiles. “Ontarians are cared for by health care professionals, and a compassionate government would do everything in their power to ensure that our health care workers are supported and empowered to remain in the jobs they love.”
Stiles and the Ontario NDP’s motion called on the government to invest some of the billions it is sitting on – funds already earmarked for health care – to increase capacity in publicly-owned operating rooms. The motion would have also saved public money, as the fees that OHIP has to pay private operators are considerably higher than what the public system requires.
High-quality facilities across the province have idle operating room time, such as Sudbury’s Health Sciences North, which is only able to use 14 out of 17 state-of-the-art operating rooms and Toronto’s University Health Network which is unable to simultaneously run all of their operating rooms because of understaffing.
“When operating rooms don’t have enough staff to function, Ontarians pay the price,” said MPP France Gélinas, NDP Health critic. “Ford continues to take health care workers to court over his unconstitutional legislation, demoralizing staff, and forcing health care workers out of the public system.”
The Ford government has persisted in their appeal of the Superior Court ruling that declared Bill 124 unconstitutional, despite the devastating impact the bill has had on hiring, recruitment, and retention of healthcare workers.
“Like most Ontarians, the Ontario NDP believe in a strong public health care system, where you receive care not based on your ability to pay or who you know, but according to what you need,” said Stiles.
The Ontario Health Coalition was also at Queen’s Park today, sharing patients’ shocking experiences at private health clinics from across the province.