Cancer patients fight back against Ford health overhaul scheme

All but 30 of the 1,594 people who applied to be heard by the government on its health care overhaul scheme were turned away by the Doug Ford government, prompting NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to call attention to their stories, and their objections, in the legislative assembly Tuesday.


“Kenneth Yurchuk is almost 70 years old and battling cancer, having already beat pulmonary lymphoma a few years ago,” said Horwath. “Cancer Care Ontario was with him through all of this, and is still supporting him today. His appointments are booked for him, scans are arranged and he gets counselling from professional staff whenever it’s needed.”


Despite his illness, Kenneth travelled to Queen’s Park Tuesday to fight for Cancer Care Ontario.


“Kenneth wants his kids and grandkids to have access to the same excellent treatment, but Ford’s plan will rip apart the services that are actually working for families,” said Horwath.


The Ford Conservative health system scheme will demolish 20 agencies — including Cancer Care Ontario. Horwath and the NDP have been calling for province-wide consultations, as well as a number of amendments, to the massive health care scheme that was drawn up by Ford in secret, in backrooms.


Patients like cancer survivor Patricia Chartier, who also came to Queen’s Park on Tuesday, say for Ford to plow ahead with his overhaul would be devastating to patients.


“I don’t want to live in an Ontario in which the needs of cancer and transplant medicine are lumped in with every other aspect of healthcare and forced to compete for the attention of a small, appointed centralized board,” said Patricia. “That makes no sense. In fact, it feels to me like a crime against the people of our province”.

Andrea Horwath