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OPINION: Bay of Quinte residents deserve better health care

Whether I’m in hockey rinks or grocery stores, people around the Bay of Quinte stop and tell me stories of their experiences with Ontario’s public health care system.

This year, Quinte Health Care hospitals have already seen several days of gridlock with no staff or beds available. People are laying on stretchers for hours or days at a time, not getting access to the treatment they so desperately need.

In my constituency office, I hear about parents struggling to find proper services for their children in our fractured mental health system. I hear about people trying to find a safe and suitable home for their parents who are unable to live on their own.

Today, the average wait time to access a bed in a long-term care home is 146 days, which is up 300% since 2003. This is unacceptable.

It’s for reasons like these that our government is making the necessary changes to build a modern, sustainable and connected public health care system. This is why our government is following through on our promise to eliminate excessive bureaucracy like the Local Health Integration Networks and invest in front-line health care providers.

Patients, families and caregivers who have spoken with me know far too well that Ontario can do better to improve the public health care experience.

We need to know that our health care can give patients the high-quality care that they need and deserve in the years ahead.

Last week, Ontario’s Minister of Health, Christine Elliott announced our government’s plan to better organize our incredibly hard-working health care providers, including doctors and nurses, to work as one connected and coordinated team, focusing on patients’ needs. This plan will continue to track the patient’s needs once out of the hospital and guarantee they are getting the services they require at home. We need to ensure that this process is a smooth and simple transition.

Our government has heard from patients, families and frontline health care workers from around the province to develop this plan. The people will always be our government’s priority as we create a public health care system that works for all Ontarians.

You deserve to have health care when and where you need it. By focusing on the patient experience and a better-connected health care system, we will see reduced wait times, patients will get the services that they need, and we will be able to end hallway health care.

Todd Smith, MPP
Bay of Quinte

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Rose Bannister says:

    . In response to Todd Smiths comment about the bureaucracy of LIHN, I and my late husband had very positive experience in receiving post hospital and pallitive care. All his needs were coordinated in timely fashion. I never had navigated the system before and never once did I feel stranded. The administrators and various departments all responded to his needs and mine in a suggested and supported manner.
    I am very grateful for all the care we received. From the day my husband came home from hospital to the day he died,6 months, he was well taken care of by Paramed nurses, home care psw nurses, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and respite time all overseen and coordinated by LIHN. My husbands family doctor was in Oshawa and my husband wasn’t able to go to his appts so the coordinator of LIHN arranged for a local doctor to oversee his pallitive care.
    I’m very grateful for the services we received, was always told, any concerns to phone anytime. They always responded. Kudos to LIHN!

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