Wayne Gates highlights health crisis; shares story of senior waiting hours for ambulance
“Is the Premier (Doug Ford) proud that, under his watch, residents are getting taxis five hours later instead of emergency care that this government is supposed to provide? … I want to be very clear: Taxi drivers in the province of Ontario are not paramedics.” – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates
A News Release from the Constituency of Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates
Posted August 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
QUEENS PARK —NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) rose in the Legislature to once again raise the alarm bell about Ontario’s rapidly failing health system. In Question Period he shared a story of a senior in an emergency who pressed her Lifeline button only to be told an ambulance wouldn’t be available for six hours.
“On July 26, a senior named Shirley who lives in Fort Erie had a fall in her home. Injured and alone, she pressed her Lifeline alert button. Ten minutes later, she received a call from Lifeline, who informed her they were told she would not get an ambulance for six hours,” said Gates.
“Workers are doing everything they can, but this government has ignored their pleas for more resources and, in fact, cut health care resources. Mr. Speaker, to the Premier: Is the Premier proud that, under his watch, residents who dial 911 have to wait six hours for an ambulance?”
Ford’s newly appointed Minister of Health, Sylvia Jones, responded by touting supposed innovations in 911 emergency services across Ontario. Gates responded by reminding Ford’s Health Minister that he has raised the issue six months ago and that paramedics continued to be over-run and under resourced. He reaffirmed his belief that taxi drivers could not supplement the important role of ambulance paramedics.
“Shirley was able to get hold of her daughter-in-law who herself is fighting cancer. Thankfully, her daughter came to her house and cancelled the ambulance. Despite this, a taxi showed up at her house five hours later. The taxi was dispatched to take them to the hospital. I raised this issue back in February.
“Just days ago, the Premier said very clearly that health care was just fine. Once again, is the Premier proud that, under his watch, residents are getting taxis five hours later instead of emergency care that this government is supposed to provide? Also, I want to be very clear: Taxi drivers in the province of Ontario are not paramedics,” said Gates.
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