Nov. 23, 2016 Toronto, ON – Ontario’s doctors are extremely concerned with the increasing provincial wait-times that are forcing our patients to wait even longer for necessary medical care.
We want the Liberal government to commit to funding the health-care system appropriately, so that no patient has to suffer because of an inordinately long wait for necessary medical care.
A report released today by the Fraser Institute shows that patients across the country wait longer than ever for care. In Ontario, wait-times are up 10 per cent this year compared with last, meaning the average patient is waiting nearly 16 weeks for surgery.
Ontario’s doctors have seen wait-times rise over the past several years with some procedures seeing sharp increases. For example, the wait-time for cataract surgery has risen from 128 days in 2012 to 182 days last year – an increase of more than 40 per cent, and well above the provincial target of 112 days.
This is a prime example of patients in Ontario not receiving the best possible care; prolonged waits often mean they are living in pain or experiencing a lower quality of life than they should.
Instead of appropriately investing in the system, this government has flat-lined hospital budgets for years and then congratulated itself for a one per cent increase – at the same time hospitals across the province face staffing cuts, bed closures, and reduction of operating room times to deal with their financial challenges.
In addition to that, since 2014 the government has cut by nearly seven per cent the budget that funds the necessary medical care provided by doctors.
With a growing and aging population, demand for resources is only going to increase and wait-times will continue to grow without appropriate investment by the Ontario government. We need action now – our patients deserve it.
Dr. Virginia M. Walley,
Ontario Medical Association