Ford briefly addresses hospital emergency department nursing shortage crisis

Premier Doug Ford. (File photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn Media)

At a funding announcement this morning in Stratford, Premier Doug Ford took a moment to briefly address the ongoing healthcare crisis in Ontario hospitals.

After many weeks of silence from both Ford and Health Minister Sylvia Jones, Ford says despite nursing shortages and emergency department closures, he says Ontarians are still getting quality care.

“I want to be clear, Ontarians continue to have access to the care they need when they need it. In fact, 9 out of 10 high urgency patients are finishing their emergency visit within targeted times. And, surgeries are happening at nearly 90 percent of their pre-pandemic rates. That’s welcome news, but it doesn’t change the fact that our hospitals and emergency departments are feeling increased pressures right now.”

Ford says this problem is country wide, and he says the federal government must provide more than 22 percent of current healthcare funding to Ontario. During the long weekend, 14 Ontario emergency departments closed or reduced hours due to staffing shortages.

“That’s why our government added over 3,100 new hospital beds, added over 10,500 more healthcare workers, including nurses and personal support workers. It’s why we’re working with the College of Nurses to add more internationally educated nurses to the system.”