In the wake of a heartbreaking death at the Notre-Dame Hospital in Hearst, Ontario, NDP Health Critic France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) and MPP Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk—James Bay) are calling on the Ford government to take immediate action. They urge Ford to prioritize the growing healthcare needs in Northern Ontario, including adequate emergency air transportation.
The incident at Notre-Dame Hospital involved critical delays in transferring an ill patient to a higher-level care facility 400 km away. Insufficient resources and protocols, including a shortage of ORNGE crew and pilots, hindered the ability of physicians and healthcare providers to administer the necessary care.
Gélinas expressed deep disappointment over the state of healthcare in Northern Ontario, stating, “The Liberal government stood idly by while ORNGE was being decimated, and the Conservative government has shown little interest in rebuilding a safe air transportation system for the sickest residents of Northern Ontario. Doug Ford does not prioritize equitable access to healthcare for the people in this region.”
“This tragic incident shows the continued impact of the Conservatives’ unconstitutional wage-restraint legislation Bill 124, said Bourgouin. “We need to address the consequences of this legislation. This government needs to work with experienced healthcare workers to develop solutions to save lives.
ORNGE and the dedicated health care providers at Notre-Dame Hospital faced an uphill battle, trying to provide optimal care without adequate support. The situation highlights the need for increased staffing and resources in remote communities in the North to avoid these devastating outcomes in the future.”
“It is time for Ford’s Conservatives to take action and actually prioritize the growing healthcare needs of people in Northern Ontario,” Gélinas said. “This traumatic event and similar incidents should serve as wake-up calls to recruit, retain and return more healthcare professionals to our region. My NDP colleagues and I extend our deepest sympathies to the patient’s loved ones and the entire team at Notre-Dame Hospital for all the efforts.”
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