Horwath demands Wynne listen to health care workers speaking out

Jan 24, 2018 @ 22:15

News reports today, Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 reveal that a number of doctors, nurses and administrators are speaking out about dangerous hospital overcrowding in the Greater Toronto Area. Andrea Horwath, who has been raising alarm bells about growing hospital overcrowding concerns for over a year, released the following statement in response:


“Doctors and front-line health care workers are speaking out about the dangerous situations in overcrowded hospitals, and it’s time for leadership that listens to them, and takes action. Many of our hospitals were operating above 100 per cent capacity before this winter’s flu surge – so news again this morning that more hospitals are in crisis as a result of flu-season is troubling, but not at all surprising. It’s just plain wrong that no real action has been taken to ease the squeeze on Ontario’s hospitals, putting patients at risk.


Ontario’s hospitals have faced decades of cuts – first by a Conservative government that closed 28 hospitals and fired 6,000 nurses, and then by a Liberal government that has cut or frozen budgets for years. Patients around the province, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, the Ontario Hospital Association and the NDP and I have all been calling out for the government to listen, and make changes. But Kathleen Wynne let us down again. Long waits, overcrowding and hallway medicine have been getting worse and worse – even as hospital staff were warning that they didn’t have the resources to handle this year’s flu season.


It’s time to do something about health care overcrowding – and that means making health care funding a priority in Ontario again. Wynne’s budgets keep underfunding hospitals, and Patrick Brown is vowing to make $6.1 billion in cuts. I disagree – we can’t keep going down that road. Instead of cuts, we need to invest in shorter waits and tackling hallway medicine.


My thanks go out to the health care workers around the province who are on the front-lines of this crisis, working long hours in busy hospitals and doing everything they can do deliver the care that people deserve in Ontario.

Andrea Horwath