Letter to the Editor – Healthcare


Dear Editor,

While in arbitration with the Ontario Medical Association, the Ministry of Health has claimed that recruitment and retention of physicians “is not a major concern.”

This is a complete denial of the reality of the lives of millions of Ontarians and comes directly from Premier Ford and Minister Jones. The reality is that 2.3 million Ontarians do not currently have a family doctor or nurse practitioner, and those numbers are forecast to double in the next few years as a large number of family doctors reach retirement age. Those who do currently have a family doctor are still impacted by this crisis as they worry about what happens when their current doctor retires, or they would like to have a doctor closer to where they live, or are unhappy with their doctor but have no option to change.

As Leeds-Grenville Ontario Greens President, I can say that every day during my work as a community pharmacist I meet people who do not have a family doctor for a variety of reasons, and it is not unusual to see people whose doctors are over an hour’s drive away.

Having a healthy population is essential for having a healthy economy yet instead of trying to tackle this crisis the Ford government is burying its head in the sand and denying there is even a problem. It’s time for the government to clean up the mess they have made and repair the damage they have caused – starting by immediately halting the privatization of our public healthcare system; and implementing a retention strategy that includes raises, better benefits, and improved working conditions for all healthcare workers. They can also begin properly funding all healthcare sectors to bring our per-capita funding up to national standards.

Steve Gabell


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