Surgical wait times are too long: FIFE

Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife is calling on the Liberal government to shorten surgical wait times.

Fife met today with Jim Walsh and Karen Holmes, both of Waterloo, who shared their experiences of long waits for surgical procedures.

“Wait times for surgeries are too long in this province,” said Fife. “The Auditor General has reported that the Liberal government has been misleading Ontarians with their reported wait times. People are suffering and they deserve better.”

Jim Walsh cannot get the hip replacement he needs. “I have been told to expect to wait 16 months for a hip replacement,” said Walsh. “I’m in pain and I can’t play with my grandkids any more.”

Karen Holmes needs her knee replaced and is looking outside Waterloo Region. “I have been waiting 18 months for a knee replacement,” said Holmes. “I have decided to travel five hours to get the procedure done because the waits are shorter. But I still might lose my long-term disability because the wait has already been so long.”

Earlier this month, the Auditor General revealed that the Liberal government has been “misleading” Ontarians about surgical wait times, which have not improved over the past five years.

“If that wasn’t bad enough, we found via Freedom of Information that occupancy rates for Waterloo Region hospitals are all above 85% which leads to longer waits and increased risk of infection,” said Fife. “Ontarians deserve health care they can count on.”