(QUEEN’S PARK) – The fight to protect patient care at regional hospitals came to Question Period at Queen’s Park today. After Quinte Healthcare announced last week that their funding shortfall from the province would result in cutting 162 positions, Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith decided to take the issue to the Premier’s doorstep.
“Enough is enough.” Smith stated plainly. “Every year the question isn’t about whether there will be cuts, only how deep the cuts will be. Meanwhile, the Premier says patient care won’t be affected and she knows it will be.”
The cuts have been opposed by local community groups, the local representatives of the Ontario Nurses Association and now, emergency room Doctors at Quinte Healthcare have started speaking out about the effects these cuts will have on patient care by issuing a letter to the board of the hospital corporation.
“Since last night’s board meeting, I heard from people who signed and received this letter letting me know that the Docs in the Emergency Room are saying that these cuts will impact patient care.” Smith added. “The Doctors are the experts on this one. The cuts that the provincial government is imposing on our local hospitals now pose a clear challenge to patient care.”
In the past, Smith added he’s worked with Health Minister Eric Hoskins on issues involving the local hospitals but he feels that the orders are coming from higher up.
“The healthcare cuts are coming from the Premier’s Office.” Smith concluded. “According to our ER Doctors, we’re now experiencing cuts that will make it very hard to deliver the same standard of patient care. The Minister said today in Question Period that they may backtrack and provide more funding for our hospitals. Even the government’s doctor must have known that a cut this deep was only going to hurt patients in our local hospitals.”