September 28, 2017, Queen's Park - Through their inaction, underfunding, and crippling
cuts to healthcare, the Wynne government has created a serious capacity crisis going
into this year's winter flu season.
After being warned for months of the looming capacity crisis, the Wynne government
has finally acknowledged the issue, but have unfortunately only offered a temporary
solution. In a last-minute attempt to increase capacity, the government is considering
the reopening of the former location of the Humber River Regional Hospital, which
has been closed since 2015.
"This government decision to attempt to balance its books on the back of patients
through cutting hospital beds has created a dangerous situation," said Yurek. "Instead,
the government should have been listening to health care professionals and the Auditor
General: increasing funding of long-term care and ensuring homecare money reaches
the patient. Instead, the government chose to grow the bureaucracy in homecare,
spending an astonishing 39 per cent of funding on administrative costs instead of
on patients," Yurek continued.
Last November, the Auditor General found more than 4,100 of Ontario's 31,000 hospital
beds were unnecessarily being occupied by patients waiting for long-term care or
home care, which was causing delays in Ontario hospitals. Had the government been
properly funding home and long-term care, these beds would have been used by patients
in need, and in turn would reduce hospital wait times. Unfortunately, the government
has continued to neglect to properly fund home and long-term care, which has resulted
in this crisis situation.
"While I welcome the government's decision to reopen the old Humber River hospital
site, it does not go far enough and does nothing to address the underlying issue,"
said Yurek. "The Wynne government must stop their cuts to hospitals and must start
to make real significant investments in long-term and home care," Yurek concluded.