QUEEN’S PARK – Today MPP Yurek rose in the legislature to question the government on the lack of funding for joint surgeries at the local orthopedic department at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital.
“Currently the orthopedic department in my riding is giving up OR time due to the lack of funding from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. This is very frustrating when OR time is available and there is an outstanding team of surgeons, doctors, nurses and staff available to perform the work. Unfortunately, they are unable to schedule any joint replacements surgeries for part of February and the entire month of March. The Government is hiding the fact that they are unable to provide adequate healthcare services due to a lack of funding that can be directly linked to their financial mismanagement and waste” stated MPP Yurek.
The current funding allows for 174 joint replacement surgeries in a year. However, this is not meeting the needs of the local community. The base amount of funding needed would be enough to cover at least 220 joint replacement surgeries during the fiscal year. “Why is a hospital that wins awards on having the lowest wait times in Ontario being restricted on the number of joint replacement surgeries when the need is clearly there? It seems that the Ministry is punishing those hospitals that are exceeding the provincial standards for wait times” stated Yurek.
With the proper funding the orthopedic surgeons could perform 5-6 surgeries/week. Currently patients are facing a 4-5 month wait period for surgery which will only increase due to the lack of funding. OR times will continue to be cancelled until the start of a new fiscal year. The end result is that patients, particularly seniors, are suffering as the Government continues to be unable to provide healthcare services and is only going to grow as the need for joint replacement surgeries increases with the aging population.
“Through the waste and mismanagement of the provinces finances, the Liberal Government is scrambling to balance the budget. This has caused an erosion of services and an inability of the government to meet the needs of an ever growing healthcare system.” stated Yurek.
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