QUEEN’S PARK –This morning MPP Jeff Yurek rose in the legislature to question the Minister of Health & Long Term, Dr. Eric Hoskins, about the state of Ontario’s health care system and the availability of doctors in rural communities throughout Ontario.
“Under your imposed contract with the Doctors in Ontario you are prohibiting new doctors from joining family health teams in “well serviced” areas. However, your government’s model on defining well serviced areas is extremely flawed,” said Yurek. Under the government’s current system, areas such as Dutton and St. Thomas that have a shortage of doctors are classified as well serviced due to the proximity to London.
The Minister danced around Yurek’s question regarding the shortage of doctor’s throughout Elgin County, which includes St. Thomas, Aylmer, Rodney and Dutton/Dunwich.
When asked how the Liberal Government would address the doctor shortage the Minister did not have an answer.
The Ontario Medical Association has reported that the demand for medical care will grow by at least 2.7 per cent annually due to population growth, an aging population, and the need for more complex care. Yet, the Liberal Government has only committed to fund 1.25%, or less than half of that growth.
Yurek pointed out that the baby boomer generation alone will account for the tremendous increase in the usage of our health care system. However, Liberal Government is making it increasingly difficult for Ontarians to access health care at a time when it is most needed.
Through the waste and mismanagement of the provinces finances, the Liberal Government is scrambling to balance the budget, which affects services throughout the province.
“Minister, why are you cutting access to Healthcare to make up for your governments financial mismanagement,” asked Yurek.
“It’s clear that you have no plan for the health care system,” said Yurek. “You’re ignoring groups like the Ontario Medical Association who want to work with you, who have plans to make the system better, but your government has stopped new doctors from joining family health teams and you have given doctors an ultimatum of not seeing patients once they reach their maximum budget or not being paid after this maximum has been reached. This is unacceptable.”