QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement on the Financial Accountability Officer’s 2019 report on the Ontario Health Sector:

“Improving healthcare requires investment and solutions, not cuts.

Today’s FAO report highlights the possibility of a $8.6 billion cut to healthcare if the budget is balanced without tax increases.

And the potential healthcare cuts outlined in the FAO report do not include the costs of restructuring to a super agency model, which has entailed massive costs in Alberta and Nova Scotia.

People in our province, which already has the lowest per capita health spending in the country, will hurt from such a drastic cut to health services.

Better community-based care, not cuts, is the solution to hallway medicine.

Ontario needs primary health care reform with more community health centres, nurse practitioner-led clinics, and family health teams. We need real investments to address the mental health and addictions crisis. We need more investments in higher quality senior care outside of hospitals.

I urge the government to reverse their tax cuts for the 1% and use this revenue to invest in quality public healthcare in the upcoming budget.”