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LETTER: Health questions for provincial candidates

Posted: May 13, 2018

(May 13, 2018)

By: The Kingston Whig-Standard







The Kingston Health Coalition proposed to the campaign managers of Kingston’s provincial candidates to hold an all-candidates meeting on the topic of health care in Ontario.

The representatives replied that they already had received from Health City Ontario a request for such an event. They also received a request from OPSEU. They asked all three of the groups to meet together and work out a co-operative arrangement. The Kingston Health Coalition contacted Health City Ontario and its response, essentially, was that it had its meeting set. We asked to be allowed to ask a couple of questions.

Again, the bottom line was its questions were already set, but if we rented a booth for $5,000 it would allow us to ask a question.

We believe our questions are important for the public to consider when contemplating for whom to vote. As you know, the Ontario Health Coalition, of which we are an affiliate, has been recognized as a significant defender of quality, universally accessible health care.

The questions we wish to be answered are consistent with that role. Given that Health City Ontario was not willing to include them in its event, we are presenting them through a letter to the editor.

Here are the three questions we had given the highest priority:

1. This year is the first time since 2006 that hospitals have received funding increases to meet inflation (inflation is running at approximately two per cent), and it has come after the longest stretch of real-dollar hospital cuts in Ontario’s history. Do you consider our hospitals to be underfunded and what will you do to address the patients-in-corridors phenomenon?

2. Do you agree that for-profit private services are detrimental to the goals of accessible care for all? If so, what steps will you and your government take to reduce the penetration of for-profit care into our health-care system?

3. The Ontario Health Coalition and organizations representing workers and patients in long-term care facilities has been advocating or a minimum of four hours hands-on care per patient in long-term care. What needs to be done to reduce the high cost of long-term care for patients and their families while maintaining respect for the residents and their quality of care?

Matthew Gventer

Shannon Russell

Co-ordinators, Kingston Health Coalition

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