- How will you ensure cancer care recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic?
1. We are appalled by poor performance of our healthcare system that has been neglected by consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments. People of Ontario should not suffer from pain and long queues for life-saving surgeries. An ONDP government will invest in our healthcare to make sure that people who require a 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 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.
- Will you expand access to lung cancer screening?
2. 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. ONDP will make take-home cancer drugs free regardless of your insurance and where you receive care. 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 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.
- Will you allow women to self-refer for a mammogram starting at age 40?
3. It is vital for Ontario to have a healthcare system that focuses of preventing severe illnesses. ONDP government will support self-referral of women over 40 for mammograms. This will not only make cancer care more equitable but also make resources of our public healthcare network better utilized by reducing the number of severe breast cancer cases.