The promise of real health-care reform

Ontario's political leaders are making 'hallway health care' an election issue

Can the next Premier of Ontario fix the province’s hospital crisis?

Ontario’s health care, especially when it comes to hospitals, has always been a huge problem.

Data collated by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions found there are too few medical staff and hospital beds in Ontario. Because of this, the waiting lists for treatment are getting longer and longer. Ontario’s per-capita public funding of hospitals is also the lowest in the country.

Ontario needs to invest more money in hospitals so enough medical professionals can be hired and more beds can be available.

Could the 2018 Ontario general election in June solve this?

Doug Ford, the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, says Ontario needs to get rid of “hallway health care” — patients being treated in the hallway because there aren’t enough beds. Ford adds he will shorten the wait times for treatment by finding “resources.”

The leader of the New Democratic Party, Andrea Horwath, says she will fund hospitals to handle population growth. Horwath recognizes the needs of human resources, too. She says medical staffs are working very hard because there aren’t enough of them to meet the needs of citizens.

Premier of Ontario and leader of the Liberal Party, Kathleen Wynne, acknowledges the overcrowding problem and says she will invest in hospitals. But it seems she is focusing more on children’s mental health and home care instead.

And here comes the problem.

Back in 2014, Wynne promised she would improve Ontario’s health care. However, in the past four years, there haven’t been any noticeable changes in hospitals.

The medical industry is still understaffed.

The waiting lists are still long.

Hospitals are still relying on “hallway healthcare.”

The average annual budget growth rate for health care in general has been the lowest in years.

It is good that Ontario’s hospitals are getting more attention. What we can hope is that the next premier can fulfill his or her promise: to invest more in hospitals.