QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the government’s healthcare announcement:
“People continue to languish in hallways and on mental health and long-term care wait lists, but the government is telling them to hang on longer while they design a new org chart.
I am worried the Premier and Health Minister are understating the immediate damage their healthcare consolidation is likely to cause for patients and staff while the Premier reshuffles the deck chairs.
Evidence in Alberta and Nova Scotia show this sort of amalgamation only leads to longer wait times and more dysfunctional primary care.
Centralizing health care decisions in Toronto also fails to understand how important local decision making is to providing quality care. The needs in Toronto are different from Thunder Bay, Guelph, Perth or Bracebridge.
It’s clear we need investments in community-based solutions and preventative health care to address the root causes of hospital overcrowding.
There are real steps the government can take to improve the health of Ontarians today – like making primary care the foundation of quality community care, opening new long-term care beds, investing in mental health and addiction services, and opening more nurse practitioner led clinics in our communities.
But the government is ignoring these solutions in favour of a bureaucratic re-tooling that will cause front-line pain with no assurance of long-term gain.”