Question 1: Recovery from COVID-19 disruption of cancer care in Ontario
An Ontario Liberal Government will invest $1 billion over two years to clear the surgical and diagnostic backlog. We will clear the backlog by investing in additional capacity – empowering hospitals to operate significantly above pre-pandemic volumes and expand operating room, MRI and CT operations – including into evenings and weekends.
We will also establish and publish maximum wait times for all surgeries and return to pre-pandemic wait times for those above the maximum by the end of 2022. This includes cancer surgeries.
We will create a centralized electronic surgical waitlist – requiring all specialists to use e-referrals to shorten wait times and maximize scheduling efficiency.
Unlike Conservatives, Ontario Liberals believe in public health care. We’ll support the creation of not-for-profit surgery centres managed by local hospitals to more sustainably maintain higher surgical volumes.
Question 2: The expansion of lung cancer screening
One of the lessons from COVID is the fragility of our healthcare system and the sometimes lack of coordination between various parts of the “system”. An Ontario Liberal Government is committed to making healthcare more accessible to all Ontarians, in all regions of the province and from all socio-economic groups. We will work with key stakeholders to review the existing provision of critical services, such as lung cancer screening, and will move rapidly to eliminate any barriers to access for those services. This includes a commitment to a new cancer centre in Brampton.
We will invest in engaging preventative health initiatives that teach people about their health, including raising awareness about the signs of stroke and concussion safety. We will also charge a fee to the tobacco industry, making back the $44 million spent on efforts to prevent or get people to quit smoking under Smoke Free Ontario.
Question 3: If elected to government, will your party allow women to self-refer for a mammogram, starting at age 40?
An Ontario Liberal Government will be guided by evidence in making any healthcare related decisions. We will commit to undertake a full and comprehensive review of the medical evidence – led by healthcare professionals and including cancer organizations – to determine any changes to cancer screening.