Thank you so much for reaching out. It is incredibly unfortunate and unnecessary the way the cancer patients and their families have been negatively affected by a healthcare system broken by a past Liberal government and a Conservative government that only cut from this community, not support and invest in a pandemic where they need it the most. This message is important and must be addressed with urgency, as lives are at stake. You are correct, Ontario can be a leader and will be because the Ontario NDP and I are committed to managing, investing, and prioritizing cancer care.
There are several thought-out steps the NDP and I have made towards support for cancer care.
- We must acknowledge the problem and raise awareness. To eliminate the backlog of healthcare procedures, we’ll identify and publicize the number of delayed procedures and publish regular progress reports. We’ll 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 referral system. We’ll make sure this gets done without privatizing our health care system.
- Eliminate Bill 124 and increase health care workers’ wages
- To increase cancer treatment and screening, the province must expand its capacity to accommodate. The NDP will do this by increasing hospital funding, as well as investing into hospital expansions in Brampton, Niagara Falls, Windsor-Essex and Kitchener and the construction of new sites in Brampton, Scarborough and Sioux Lookout. In addition to this, we must hire new healthcare workers – 300+ doctors and 100+ specialists in Northern Ontario and increasing residency positions at NOSM University, as well as 10,000 PSWs and 30,000 nurses. Experts say that we are low in all of these numbers and we must expand.
- The NDP and I are committed to ensuring health equity. We plan to expand Indigenous health, collect race-based data in all areas of health care to identify and fix the systemic inequities in health care, pass the Ontario NDP’s Improve Access to Health Care Act, and establish a systemic review of the reality that Black Canadians are disproportionately impacted in the health care system.
- Provide cancer treatment closer to home: We’ll ensure communities have access to comprehensive cancer treatment close to where they live, so no one has to travel a long way to get essential care such as radiation treatment. For example, we’ll immediately fund the building of a dedicated cancer care centre in Brampton.
- Immediately make take-home cancer drugs free: We will close the gaps that leave cancer patients paying out of pocket for take-home cancer drugs.
I hope this helps. As a frontline worker at Scarborough General Hospital, I have seen up close myself the terrible state our health care system is in and how patients and their families have suffered because of it. I will fight alongside Ontario NDP government for you because Ontarians who need cancer care, their families, and survivors of cancer deserve reliable, accessible, and high-quality healthcare. As Scarborough-Guildwood’s next MPP, I will dedicate my work to providing Ontarians with the support they need.
Scarborough-Guildwood NDP Candidate