TERRACE BAY – Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, issued the following statement following reports Ontario emergency room (ER) wait times are at an all-time high:
"Just about everyone in Ontario has experienced long ER wait times or knows someone who has. It’s terrifying not to have the care you need when you or a loved one is injured or sick.
“Ford’s Conservatives are worsening our health care by starving the public system and funnelling money to a select few of their insiders. That not only lengthens wait times, but it also wastes taxpayer dollars.
“This is first and foremost a staffing crisis. Drop the appeal of Bill 124 and pay health care workers fair wages. Establish safe nurse-patient staffing ratios. And cap the use of nursing agencies, which are forcing public hospitals to go deeper and deeper into debt.”
The Auditor General found that private staffing agencies are forcing hospitals to spend more for less: some hospitals have more than tripled spending on private staffing agencies, adding to their financial pressures.
In 2023, the Ontario NDP introduced legislation to limit spending on private health care staffing agencies.