Across Ontario, citizens are facing too many barriers when it comes to getting the healthcare services they need.
Whether that’s emergency treatment at local hospitals, or continuing care through long-term care homes, the wait times and wait lists only continue to grow, pushing Ontario to nearly the bottom of the list when it comes to healthcare access.
Recently, representatives from the Ontario Health Coalition passed through Oshawa on a cross-province tour urging all of the political parties to commit to a viable solution and a large influx of funding to Ontario’s healthcare sector after the June election.
The non-partisan group poked holes in many of the plans being propagated by the main political parties, slamming Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives for a lack of clarity, pointing out the Liberal promises as only being showmanship during an election year. And while the NDP have said they will commit to what the OHC is asking for, it leaves too much up to chance should Andrea Horwath be unsuccessful in her campaign to topple Ford, who by all polls is the current election frontrunner to become next premier.
Regardless of political stripe, healthcare needs to be front of mind, especially in the years ahead as our population not only continues to grow – Durham is one of the fastest growing regions in the country – but also as our population continues to age.
Moving forward, if access to proper care and services is not improved, the crisis in this country will only deepen.
Local hospitals are filled with doctors, nurses and staffers who are doing all they can with the resources they are provided. For that reason, looking for funding inside the system, by scraping through and looking for “efficiencies” is just not the way forward, and can even be a slap in the face for many in the healthcare sector who work hard every day to provide the best service they can with what they have.
The real answer is essentially a shift in the conversation. It needs to be made clear that the only way to deal with the surging and aging population is simply more money.
Government funding has remained more or less at similar levels for a number of years, despite the increase in demand.
It may be an uncomfortable decision for political parties who are looking to help Ontarians by putting more money back in their wallets, but the best way to help this province is to ensure the proper care and services are available when people need it most.