For Immediate Release
October 9, 2007

KLEES: McGuinty fails Seniors

(Newmarket-Aurora) Frank Klees, the PC candidate for Newmarket and Aurora, today called the McGuinty government's boasting about improvements to health care "empty rhetoric and offensive propaganda.” 

"We continue to be told by Dalton McGuinty and his health minister how well they're managing our health care system, but once we get beyond the photo-ops and announcements, the truth belies their claims," said Klees.

On hand with Klees was Cathy Robinson, the daughter of a Newmarket resident who has been confined to a hospital bed in Buffalo, New York for more than three weeks. The 76 year old had been sent to Buffalo for neuro-surgery on September 8th when it was determined that his operation could not be accommodated at Southlake or anywhere else in Ontario.

 "While the family was comforted knowing that the operation was accommodated and that it was successful, what was distressing is that our health care system here in Ontario could not cope with the circumstances," said Klees.  “And even after the patient was cleared on September 21st to be transferred back to Southlake, he couldn't be accommodated because there wasn't a single bed available to receive him back.”

 “You can imagine that for my 76 year old father, stuck in Buffalo, away from his wife, family and friends, he was anxious to return to Newmarket,” said Cathy Robinson. “My mother is in a nursing home in Newmarket and requires full care. In addition to the cost to our family in time and money, commuting between Buffalo and Newmarket, this has taken a toll – emotionally, physically, financially, on our jobs and on our families.”

 Klees points to this as just one example, but as he put it, "a glaring and costly example of the McGuinty government's mismanagement of our health care system.”

 "The reason this patient could not be repatriated from Buffalo is because at the time there were 26 patients in the emergency ward of the hospital waiting to be admitted to a bed. The reason those patients could not be admitted is because there are currently 40 patients in hospital beds who should not be there, but should be in long term care beds.  And the reason they're now blocking patients from being admitted is that there are no long term care beds available," said Klees.

Klees charged that not only has the McGuinty government failed to keep up with the need for new long term care beds, he also pointed to the underfunding of the existing long term care facilities that is resulting in a growing number of complaints about the level of care being provided to residents.

Klees contrasted this state of affairs with the former PC government that created 20,000 new long term care beds across Ontario from 1995 to 2003.

More than 1,800 of those new beds were constructed in York Region with an additional 750 older beds being refurbished to new standards.

"A John Tory government will prioritize care for our seniors," said Klees. "We will ensure that the appropriate level of funding is available to meet the needs of our growing seniors population. We will prioritize funding to make up for the lost ground over the past four years, both for capital and operating costs. We will also ensure that the existing 35,000 below-standard care spaces are brought up to the highest level and we will ensure access to primary care for all seniors.”

 

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For further information:

Frank Klees

416 509 8999

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