WINDSOR - While in Windsor and Essex as part of the government’s 2023 pre-budget consultations, Ontario NDP Finance critic Catherine Fife (Waterloo), Economic Development critic Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre), and MPP Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West) have been hearing input on the importance of publicly funded health care.
“My colleagues and I have been hearing from organizations across the province about the biggest issues impacting their community and what they need from our provincial government moving forward”, said Fife. “It’s clear that health care is top of everyone’s mind right now.”
Last week, Doug Ford announced funding for private, for-profit clinics as a major step in his plan to privatize health care. Yesterday’s session in Windsor heavily featured health care organizations including Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, Ontario Health Coalition, Ontario College of Family Physicians, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
"There's no doubt that publicly funded health care should be a priority in the upcoming provincial budget”, said Fife. “Ontarians care deeply about our public health care system, and the NDP is committed to ensuring that every dollar spent on public health care prioritizes patient care, not profits.”
“People know that we have a staffing crisis in our health care system”, said Gretzky. “Long wait-times. Overflowing ERs. We all remember the terrifying state of emergency in Windsor-Essex last year when no ambulances were available for the entire county. Doug Ford’s actions helped create that crisis”.
“The only way to really solve the staffing crisis in our hospitals is to end Bill 124 once and for all, expand the use of existing hospital facilities, and undertake serious investment in our public health care system”, said Kernaghan.
The Pre-Budget Committee is touring Ontario to hear community input for the upcoming Provincial budget. Consultations continue today in Essex.