Thank you for sending me these questions for me to answer. I have attached the answers below.
Right now, to my knowledge, 250,000 Ontarians are waiting for much-needed surgeries while millions of diagnostic procedures are delayed because of the pandemic. Only 40% of patients are receiving MRIs on time and more than 30% of people who need a knee replacement or prostate cancer surgery are not being treated on time.
As a caregiver to my aging mother, I am acutely aware of the need for expeditious and expansive health care and the obstacles that are presented as a result of the backlog permitted over the last few years.
The new Ontario Liberal team is offering people a choice: four more years of the same or an Ontario Liberal plan that will invest $1 billion in clearing the surgery backlog, dramatically expand surgical and diagnostic capacity, and create over 3,000 new hospital beds.
Ontario Liberals will create over 3,000 new hospital beds and build up capacity across the province, starting with:
- Turning Brampton’s Peel Memorial into a full hospital and delivering a third new hospital and cancer centre in Brampton
- Delivering the new Mississauga Hospital and redeveloping the Queensway Health Centre
- Redeveloping Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, SickKids, Sunnybrook and St. Joseph’s Health Centre
- Expanding Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s mental health and cancer services
- Adding cardiovascular surgery services in Thunder Bay
- Building new hospitals in Windsor, South Niagara, Markdale, Moosonee, Moose Factory Island, Innisfil, Whitby and Ottawa
- Redeveloping hospitals in Chatham-Kent, Waterloo Region, Brantford, Paris, Kincardine, Collingwood, Muskoka, Alliston, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Grimsby, North York, Scarborough, Newmarket, Uxbridge, Bowmanville, Prince Edward County, Kingston and Kenora
I will advocate for programs that expand access, reduce the stigma of having lung cancer or any other medical issue (such as mental illness) , and encourage preventative care.
I would follow the science on this issue and would adhere the guidance of a newly appointed Liberal health minister that would prioritize access as well as preventative care. It has been shown that women with a family history of breast cancer may benefit more from starting screening before age 50 and that screening is covered by OHIP. I also recognize the enormous benefits of preventative screening for early detection. The Ontario Breast Screening Program recommends getting a mammogram every two years. You don’t need a doctor’s referral if you are over 50 and the service is covered by OHIP. I would advise the health minister to consider the viability and benefit (from a patient’s perspective and not for profit institutions) to expand non-referral mammograms beyond the high-risk assessment currently required.
Ontario Liberal Party Candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean