Platform commits $1 billion to tackle healthcare wait times and stop Ford Conservative privatization
ETOBICOKE – Steven Del Duca announced that Ontario Liberals will erase the province’s backlog for surgeries, investing $1 billion over two years to clean up the Ford Conservative mess that’s keeping sick patients stuck in waiting rooms.
“The pandemic put an incredible strain on Ontario’s healthcare system, the committed, compassionate professionals who work there, and patients who desperately need surgery or diagnosis,” said Del Duca. “There are now more people in line for surgery or a diagnostic procedure than there are living in Ontario’s second-largest city – but the Ford Conservatives want to pretend everything is okay. Ontario Liberals know whenever Conservatives get their hands on public services, hospitals and patients suffer while private-sector profiteering soars.”
Right now, there are one million surgeries and procedures in the backlog, according to the Ontario Medical Association. More than 30% of people who need prostate cancer surgery are stuck in limbo, only 40% of patients are getting their MRIs on time, and kids who need diagnostic imaging are waiting 161% longer than they should.
The Ontario Liberal plan will invest in public hospitals, empowering them to operate significantly above pre-pandemic volumes and expand operating room, MRI and CT operations – including into evenings and weekends. We’ll work to return to pre-pandemic wait times by the end of 2022 and establish published maximum wait times for all surgeries.
Our plan will make hospitals more efficient by creating a centralized referral system to shorten wait times. Finally, Ontario Liberals will also champion minimally invasive surgeries, further shortening hospital stays and helping more people recover at home. We’ll also help create not-for-profit surgery centres managed by local hospitals to more sustainably maintain higher surgical volumes.
“Doug Ford’s Conservatives are slicing and dicing public health care, allowing private companies to make a quick buck,” continued Del Duca. “We’re offering people in Ontario a choice: an Ontario Liberal government that believes in public healthcare and will eliminate the surgical backlog, or quiet healthcare privatization by the Ford Conservatives. The choice is yours.”
- According to data made publicly available by Ontario Health, wait times are longer than the target for:
- Hip replacements;
- Breast cancer;
- Cataract procedures;
- Knee replacements;
- Liver and pancreatic cancer procedures;
- General paediatric surgeries;
- Orthopaedic (bone and spine) surgeries;Paediatric MRIs.