Terence Kernaghan MPP, London North Centre

Government of Ontario

Health care cuts put London hospital further in crisis

Published on October 28, 2019

LONDON — Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath was in London today to hear the concerns of frontline health care workers regarding the closure of 49 beds at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

The bed closures, which include a cut to 11 beds in the hospital’s Burns and Plastics Unit, are part of LHSC’s strategy to reduce a $28-million deficit.

“London is already facing an acute hallway medicine crisis, with patients left to wait an intolerable amount of time for care, often left lying on stretchers in a hallway, in pain and without privacy. Patient needs are only increasing, and hardworking frontline staff are run off their feet,” Horwath said.

As reported by the London Free Press on Sept. 19, LHSC already has the second-highest Emergency Room wait times in Southwestern Ontario, with patients admitted to Victoria Hospital forced to wait an average of 18.7 hours.

The government’s 2019 budget cut funding to hospitals province-wide, and slashed $2.7 billion from health care spending over the next two years.

“You don’t fix hallway medicine by slashing hospital budgets and eliminating health care jobs,” Horwath said. “The hallway medicine crisis can only be fixed with sure and sustained funding to hospitals. It is long past time to make health care a priority in London, and across Ontario.

“[We] will continue to fight [these] cruel health care cuts, and to call for proper investment in health care. London health care workers, patients and their loved ones deserve so much better.”