Prevention must be part of ending hallway medicine

Green Party leader and Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner issued the following statement in response to the announcement of additional beds for flu season and long-term care:

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“Today’s announcement of 1,100 beds for flu season and 6,000 new long-term care beds, while welcome, will not be enough to end hallway medicine.

Guelph General, like many hospitals across the province, experienced overcrowding during the non-flu summer season and will need far more support as we enter flu season.

In addition to a short-term funding boost, the health care system needs investments in preventing illness and promoting health.

Decades of ignoring the root causes of hospital overcrowding have left us in a constant game of catch-up. Investments in preventative solutions today will save money and lives down the road.

But it requires a government that thinks beyond the next election cycle.   

We need assisted and supportive living, co-op housing and other spaces for seniors to age in place. We need real funding for the mental health crisis – much more than the measly $190 million per year promised by the Conservatives. And we need primary care reform to support more nurse practitioner-led clinics and family health teams to help people stay healthy and access care before they reach a crisis in hospital.

I urge the government to offer more than band-aid solutions and invest in the long-term solutions that will alleviate the strain on our hospitals.”