Christine Santos – Ajax – NDP

Good afternoon,Thank you for reaching out with your questions, and sharing the priorities of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network with me.  Please see below for my responses to your questions.

  1. We are appalled by the neglect of our healthcare system by consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments.The people of Ontario should not suffer from pain and long queues for life-saving surgeries.  An ONDP government will invest in our healthcare to ensure that people who require surgery will get it on time.  Ontario needs more doctors and nurses to tackle the unprecedented waiting times for surgeries, and the ONDP will do just that.  The Ontario New Democrat government will rebuild Ontario’s cancer care for the better.  We’ll tackle the backlog head-on, improve care in and out of hospital, improve screening with a special focus on hard-to-reach communities, and deliver care closer to home.  We will expand operating room hours over the evenings and weekends to increase hospital capacity, engage in a health care worker hiring blitz, and create a centralized surgical referral system.  We’ll make sure this gets done without privatizing our healthcare system.
  2. My dad has end-stage cancer.  If it weren’t for last-minute acceptance into a trial that covered the cost of his take-home cancer treatment, we would have to find $300 a day to cover his life-extending treatment.  No one should have to take on a lifetime of debt in order to receive life-saving treatment.  Our PharmaCare plan will cover the full cost of take-home cancer drugs, ensuring no one pays out of pocket for this critical medication.  We commit to provide cancer treatment closer to home.  We’ll ensure communities have access to comprehensive cancer treatment near where they live, so no one has to travel a long way to get essential care such as radiation treatment.  Our plan to improve cancer care includes a new Cancer Centre in Brampton and improved capacity for diagnostic imaging across the province.  We will properly fund public health education and prevention programs, including screenings and tests, to increase our resilience against cancer.  We will ensure that future pandemic planning incorporates a plan to sustain cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment through any public health emergency.
  3. It is vital for Ontario to have a healthcare system that focuses on preventing severe illnesses.ONDP government will support self-referral of women over 40 for mammograms.  This will make cancer care more equitable and make our public healthcare network resources better utilized by reducing the number of severe breast cancer cases.

With thanks,

Christine Santos

NDP Candidate-Ajax