Horwath Touts NDP Healthcare Plan In London

The pouring rain couldn’t keep Ontario’s New Democrat leader away from London on Tuesday.

For the third time since the provincial election campaign began  Andrea Horwath was in town touting the NDP’s healthcare plan ahead of June 12.

Outside of the LHSC’s University Hospital campus, she announced the New Democrats would cut wait times in half by opening 50 24-hour family health clinics, creating 1,400 more long-term car beds, hiring 250 new nurse practitioners, and guaranteeing that anyone approved for home care is seen within five days.

Horwath says the plan is do-able, but funding the health clinics alone would cost the government $70-million dollars a year for the next four years.

Horwath accuses the Liberal Party of failing to hit its own targets set for reducing wait time in emergency rooms and long-term care facilities. She says with more than half of ER visits due to non-urgent needs, it’s time to get serious about offering those in need alternative levels of care.

The NDP leader also took a shot at London-North Centre MPP and Health Minister Deb Matthews. She says Matthews personifies what has gone wrong with healthcare in Ontario, because under her watch the Liberals have focused on top health executives, while ignoring front-line services.

Horwath also responded to comments from NDP Executive member Jennifer White that her leadership is moving away from the parties principles and values. Horwath says she appreciates that the NDP is able to host great debate and discussion between party members. She says her campaign is about the “fundamentals of everyday people”, a focus not contrary to NDP values.