“Northern Hospitals are poised for catastrophe” says MPP Michael Mantha

Today during Question Period in the legislature, Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha pressed the Premier on the financial pressures facing public hospitals in the North. Following a worrying report by Ontario’s Auditor General in the fall and a letter sent by the CEOs of 25 Northern Hospitals, MPP Mantha said it is beyond time for the government to act on hospital’s funding concerns.

“Last November, 25 hospital CEOs wrote a joint letter to your government about the precarious financial situation that they are in.” Mantha said. “They outlined the fact that Northern Hospitals have been directed by the ministry to avoid closures, support surgical recovery, and avoid service reductions. While, at the same time they are coping with the financial pressures of private agency staffing, the impacts of Bill 124, infrastructure costs and inflation, as well as the pending discontinuation of the locum incentive program on March 31st.”

Despite these pressures being communicated to the government months ago, there have been no funding increases to support Northern Hospitals.

“When this letter came to my attention, followed by the Auditor General’s scathing report I went out to meet with the leadership teams at each hospital in Algoma-Manitoulin.” said Mantha. “Northern Hospitals are approaching a crisis that will impact services and will mean emergency room closures, services suspended and potentially complete hospital closures.”

Mantha is calling on the government to meet the requests of Northern Hospitals to stabilize their services and commit to annualized funding increases that match their needs.

Michael Mantha