How is that for service from our Ontario premier? Being a bit overweight has followed me for many years but I found the solution last year. I went on the Doug Ford diet. In five weeks in an Ontario hospital last year, mostly because of a shattered ankle, I lost 9 kilograms. It was the food. In a hospital known for having a good kitchen, the food was being catered and was awful. I have no idea why the hospital’s kitchen was closed but they were sure saving money. The best meal I had while there was when the wife brought me a quarter-pounder from McDonald’s.
But when you find that the Ontario conservatives spent $3.5 billion less on healthcare than forecast last year, you knew what they were doing. In the midst of a pandemic, they were underfunding our hospitals in an attempt to squeeze out what they think of as unnecessary expense. Staff would tell me about supplies not arriving that were needed for patients. Entire wards were closed because of the lack of staff. Surgeries were cancelled and put off. It did no good to complain. Complaints fell on deaf ears among the bureaucrats.
And what adds outrage to this ill-considered and dangerous practice was that the federal government gave Ontario an extra $7.7 billion in one-time transfer payments because of the pandemic.
Have you ever noted that conservatives are quick to tell you they will throw money at a problem—if you are shrill and get news media support? And have you ever followed up and found out what they really spent? They lie, you know.
Did you see the temporary wards set up in the parking lots at some of our major hospitals? They must have been for show. I never heard of one being used. We hardly had the staff needed for what was available in our hospitals. The nurses I talked to were working 12-hour shifts and were exhausted then.
One thing for sure, nobody was overstaying their welcome at our hospitals. Traffic in the emergency wards was dried up. Nobody wanted to mingle with covid-19 patients. Patients spent days in the emergency hallways because of the lack of beds that were staffed.
The main objective in the surgical wards was to send the patients home sooner. And believe me, we were all eager to go. Doug Ford might be fatter than ever but those of us on the Doug Ford diet wanted to go home.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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