Thank you for reaching out! As a Registered Nurse who worked on the front lines throughout this pandemic, I understand firsthand just how strained our healthcare system was. Not only with virus patients, but also with disruptions to the normal care that other patients would have received. Please find my responses to your question below:
Question 1: Recovery from COVID-19 disruption of cancer care in Ontario
a) The Ontario Liberal Party is committed to investing $1B to creating additional capacity to clear current surgical and diagnostic backlogs. Wait times will be returned to pre-pandemic levels before the end of 2022.
b) The surgery backlog will be returned to pre-pandemic levels before the end of 2022, for all surgery and diagnostic procedures.
c) In addition to clearing the surgery backlog back to pre-pandemic levels, the diagnostic backlog will also be cleared (including cancer related screenings). Cancer-specific capacity will also be increased with a new cancer centre being built in Brampton and expanding Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s cancer services.
Question 2: The expansion of lung cancer screening
a) The Ontario Liberal Party is committed to delivering a cancer centre in Brampton. We are also committed to expanding Peterborough Regional Health centre’s cancer services. We will also make virtual medical visits a permanent option where appropriate to help reduce barriers to care.
b) We are committed to working with stakeholder groups to improve our healthcare system and provide better access to required care for all Ontarians.
c) We are committed to funding awareness programs and engaging health initiatives in our province. Initiatives relating to lung cancer and smoking are among those planned.
The Ontario Liberal Party is committed to improving our healthcare system and will work with stakeholder groups and experts to improve our processes and provide better care. We will listen to the needs of our constituents and consult with medical experts to deliver the best care for Ontarians.