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Peterborough coalition seeks to raise profile of health care in Ontario election

The front page of the Peterborough Examiner reports, “The Peterborough Health Coalition wants to hear more about health care in the final days of the provincial election campaign. ‘They are just not dealing with health care’, said spokesman Roy Brady. ‘They are avoiding what is usually the top issue for people.'”

The Peterborough Health Coalition is led by the Council of Canadians Peterborough chapter and Brady is a Council of Canadians Board member.

In terms of a critique of the party positions (listed below), the article notes, “Brady credited [Liberal incumbent Jeff] Leal for the Liberal improvements, but said lengthy waiting lists need to be addressed as long-term capacity remains below local needs. …He is also not sure why other parties haven’t criticized the Liberals for moving services from hospitals to private clinics. [And] the Progressive Conservatives’ plan to consolidate services into 30 to 40 ‘hospital hubs’ creates travel concerns, Brady said…”

The latest poll (by Ekos Research released on June 10) gives 34.7 per cent to the Liberals, 34.5 per cent to the Progressive Conservatives, 19.8 per cent to the New Democrats and 6.7 per cent to the Greens. The Globe and Mail reports, “[The Liberals] would likely win between 42 and 60 seats if the election were held today, straddling the 54-seat mark necessary to form a majority government. The PCs have dropped to an estimate of between 32 and 45 seats, which would seem to rule a majority government out. They could, however, squeak by the Liberals in the seat total. The New Democrats should be able to win between 13 and 22 seats with these levels of support, retaining their status as the third party and, potentially, the balance of power in a minority legislature.”

The provincial election in Ontario is this Thursday June 12.

PARTY PLATFORMS ON HEALTH CARE

Liberals


  • Increase hourly wage for personal support workers by $1.50 in 2014 and 2015 and $1 in 2016

  • $20-million to improve access to primary care physicians

  • Expand home, community and supported home care for 46,000 more seniors

  • Access to dental services for 70,000 more children in low-income families

  • Create low-income health benefit to provide vision care, drug coverage and mental health services to low-income families

  • Eliminate service waitlists for 21,000 people with developmental disabilities

  • $5-million to Children’s treatment centres

  • Expand and improve hospitals over a 10-year plan

  • Cap or cut hospital parking fees for frequent hospital visits

  • Establish Patient Ombudsman

Progressive Conservatives


  • Eliminate Liberal-created Local Health Integration Networks

  • Create chronic care centres

  • Expand home care and long–term care availability

  • Give patients more choice in health services they receive under OHIP

  • Encourage competitive contracts for services like hospital cafeterias

  • Create a harmonized mental health care system

  • Integrate 45 minutes of physical activity into the school day or after-school activities

New Democrats


  • Cut emergency room wait times in half

  • Open 50 24-hour family health clinics

  • Create 1,400 more long-term care beds

  • Eliminate waitlists for acute long-term care beds

  • Hire 250 nurse practitioners

  • Five-day home care guarantee for seniors

  • Forgive student debt for doctors to encourage working in underserved areas

Further reading
South Niagara chapter hosts all-candidates debate for Ontario election
Hudak Conservatives could take Ontario
Brady rejects Hudak agenda