Sault Ste. Marie received a new hospital while the Liberals cut $815 million from the physician’s budget in 2015 and 35 nurses and staff lost their jobs at Sault Area Hospital (SAH).
For 18 months Health Minister Hoskins has sat on an application by SAH for Angioplasty to be performed locally. Recently the Sault lost one of its cardiologists because of the inability to perform this procedure here. We now have only 2 cardiologists left, with one slated for retirement in the near future. We have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the province, but the lack of this vital service causes patients in need to be shipped to Sudbury, some dying before they make it there. The ability to perform this procedure locally would save lives.
The provincial government is set to hire 84 high priced vice presidents to oversee the Local Health Integration Networks. The province spends less than 62 cents out of every health care dollar on face to face patient care.
“Sault Ste. Marie voters need to be careful when they hear statements from the NDP concerning Doctor shortages”, says Romano, “it was the Bob Rae government of the 1990s that caused the shortage of physicians and specialists we are all feeling in the North. The Rae government decided the best solution to their ballooning deficit was to target doctors and cut the number of students admitted into medical schools”, Romano explains.
“Medical specialties were hit hard because of the NDP move to cut medical training spaces”, says Romano.
“While the Liberals gave us bricks and mortar, they paid for it with cuts to doctors, nurses and patient care. It just doesn’t make sense.” Says Romano.
As the MPP for Sault Ste. Marie I will push for reforms to the health system that put patients first:
1. I will engage local doctors and nurses and make them part of the solution, not part of the problem, by organizing them in a concerted fight against Liberal cuts to local front line health;
2. I will publish wait-time statistics in all Ontario hospitals, comparing them to the Sault Area Hospital, so that we can track performance and ensure people remain attentive to the local results of all the cuts that the Wynne government makes; and
3. I will fight for funding to be transferred from bureaucrats to front line workers, to actually help people who are sick and in need of care, and I will ensure you know how much of those savings are directed to our community.