Christine Elliott downplays Premier Ford’s health care comments

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TORONTO — Ontario’s health minister says it may take longer than the year promised by Premier Doug Ford to end overcrowding within the province’s hospitals.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the problem — which has resulted in thousands of patients being treated in hospital hallways for a number of years — is complex.

Ford said last week that his government would end hallway medicine within the next 12 months.

Elliott says addressing the issue will require the government to build more long-term care spaces, improve addictions and mental-health funding, and address hospital patient flows.

The Ontario Health Coalition says Ford will not be able to fulfil his promise because the latest provincial budget did not have the funding required to build capacity within the system.

The advocacy group says current health spending does not keep pace with the rate of inflation or the province’s aging population.

The Canadian Press

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