Ontario Liberals call for an immediate stop to for-profit healthcare expansion
QUEEN’S PARK – Today’s new report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) has revealed how years of Conservative mismanagement has shortchanged Ontario’s healthcare system and undermined Ontario’s nurses and healthcare professionals.
In its scathing new report, the FAO calls attention to a massive $21.3 billion funding shortfall that will severely impact Ontarians’ ability to receive care. The report specifically notes the shortfall “means that the Province has not allocated sufficient funds to support existing health sector programs and announced commitments.”
“Doug Ford and Sylvia Jones continue to relentlessly push for-profit care at the expense of the health of everyday Ontarians,” said Ontario Liberal Interim Leader, John Fraser. “The Ford Conservatives have suppressed the wages of nurses and frontline healthcare workers and are the lowest in Canada. Is it any surprise that we are closing emergency rooms?”
The report highlights how existing staffing shortages will be exacerbated as the FAO projects a shortfall of 33,000 nurses and PSWs over the next six years. “These nurse and PSW shortages will jeopardize Ontario’s ability to sustain current programs and meet program expansion commitments,” the FAO adds.
As previously raised by Ontario Liberal Health Critic Dr. Adil Shamji, emergency department wait times and closures have skyrocketed under the Ford government. In the report, the FAO confirms that wait times have increased significantly and “there have been at least 145 unplanned emergency department closures in Ontario in 2022”.
“This report illustrates the depths of this government’s mismanagement and the scope of their neglect to our healthcare system,” said Dr. Adil Shamji, Ontario Liberal Health Critic. “With every pillar of the system under great strain, it is clear the number one limiting factor on system performance and worker capacity is this government.”
Enough is enough. The Ontario Liberals are calling on the Conservatives to immediately drop their for-profit expansion plans and act on the advice of our healthcare professionals by:
- Increasing funding to combat sustained underinvestment of healthcare;
- Abandoning their appeal of Bill 124
- Ensuring that all Independent Health Facilities (IHFs) are not-for-profit;
- Ensuring the compensation provided to IHFs for procedures is identical to those paid in public hospitals;
- Implementing protections against profiteering and upselling.