Health Care Takes A Hit In 2016 Budget

February 26, 2016

CORNWALLThe 2016 Ontario Budget short-changes Ontarians on healthcare, MPP Jim McDonell said today.


“Pre-Budget Consultations Participants across the province and in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry described a health system that needs to be re-focused on the patients’ needs through immediate action, not words” MPP McDonell commented. “It is clear the Government never intended to hear their feedback. The previous budget saw a net provincial contribution cut of $54 million to the health budget, $815 million cut from physicians’ services and $50 million from seniors’ physiotherapy. In this budget, hospitals are being deprived of $107 million in gaming revenue allocations and having their parking fees slashed, moves that are likely to nullify the meagre 1% hospital budget increase. Moreover, there is no commitment to building Long Term Care capacity in our region despite ongoing advocacy by patients and community organizations.”


The Ontario Medical Association highlighted that the Budget failed to make health care a priority. “While the government made several references in the budget to Ontario’s growing and aging population, it continues to fail to provide the necessary funding to meet the growing needs of our province. By not adequately investing in funding for physician services, the government is threatening access to the quality, patient-focused care Ontarians need and expect,” said Dr. Mike Toth, OMA President.


The Budget also increases seniors’ deductibles under the Ontario Drug Benefit and cancels the Healthy Home Renovations Tax Credit.


“The Government is jacking up the cost of seniors’ drug prescriptions and making independent living adaptations to the home more expensive” MPP McDonell stated. “This can only result in greater stress on our emergency services, social services, Long Term Care and home care systems as an increasing number of seniors will not be able to afford their medications or the necessary repairs to their homes. The Liberals are directing our healthcare system in the completely wrong direction by cutting and creating the conditions for even greater demand resulting in cancelled surgeries, longer wait times and less access to local health programs. It’s nothing short of a ticking bomb under our health system”