ELLIOT LAKE – Following the Ontario Health Coalition’s report on hospital closures and the Auditor General’s damning report on Northern healthcare, Michael Mantha spent the week meeting with hospitals across Algoma-Manitoulin to understand the extent of the crisis in our communities.
“From Manitouwadge to Manitoulin our public hospitals are under tremendous strain to continue providing adequate healthcare.” Mantha said. “The budgets of hospitals in small and rural Northern communities are being stretched to a breaking point and the Ford government is sitting on the sidelines letting a crisis worsen in our healthcare system.”
Meetings with hospital leadership confirmed what the Auditor General reported is happening in communities across Algoma-Manitoulin. Chronic underfunding of hospital budgets is being compounded by the high cost of agency staffing, the physician shortage across Northern Ontario, and a one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare funding by the province that does not reflect the realities Northern hospitals face.
“Frontline workers and the leadership teams at these hospitals have gone above and beyond to use their resources effectively to provide care to communities. I want to recognize all their hard work serving people across Algoma-Manitoulin.” Mantha said “If the upcoming spring budget does not include a substantial increase to base funding for small and rural hospitals, regulations on agency staffing and a plan to address the health inequities faced by Northerners, services will continue to deteriorate for Algoma-Manitoulin and we will be faced with a serious crisis in public healthcare in the not-too-distant future”
Mantha is encouraging people in Algoma-Manitoulin to add their voice by submitting to the pre-budget consultations. Written submissions or requests to appear can be sent to MOFconsultations@ontario.ca