‘Hallway health care’ is not acceptable, writes Effie Triantafilopoulos

OPINION Apr 04, 2019 by Effie Triantafilopoulos Oakville Beaver

When our PC government stood for office last year, one of the promises we made to the people of Ontario was to end the practice of “hallway health care.”

Every day, 1,200 patients receive care in hospital hallways or storage closets. This is not acceptable. It creates stress for patients and their families. Ending hallway health care requires more than one solution. We are building 15,000 new long-term care beds over five years to get these patients into the right care and out of hospital beds they shouldn’t be in.

Last week, I was pleased to join the health minister in announcing 1,157 long-term care beds. When added to the more than 6,000 already announced, we are almost halfway to meeting our commitment.

We need to modernize our publicly funded health-care system and get rid of waiting lists. That’s why your government introduced Bill 74, the People’s Health Care Act. This bill places patients at the centre of our public health-care system.

We must do more to ensure that our publicly funded health-care system is sustainable into the future. Too much time is spent on maintaining a fragmented system in silos and patients and their families are left to navigate a complicated system.

The bill would foster Ontario health teams made up of doctors, nurses and other health-care providers working as a co-ordinated group. These teams would guide patients between providers and shepherd patients and their families through transition points. Our many provincial health agencies will be integrated into one agency — bringing the best of the system together.

Your PC government is committed to publicly-funded health care. People in our community of Oakville North-Burlington want and deserve the highest-quality health care. We are well-served by both Joseph Brant and Oakville-Trafalgar hospitals in our area.

These changes to our health-care system are long overdue. Ontario is currently spending $61.7 billion on health care. This is 38 per cent of all provincial government spending this year. We need to manage every dollar we spend wisely so we can invest and focus on patients, frontline doctors and nurses and other health-care providers.

Effie Triantafilopoulos is the MPP for Oakville North-Burlington.

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