My question is to the Premier.
Speaker, this government’s decision to fund hospitals well below the rate of inflation,
just like the Liberals did, is forcing London Health Sciences Centre to reduce staff and close beds, putting London patients at risk. To deal with a $53-million deficit created
by both Liberal and Conservative governments, London Health Sciences Centre is cutting staff hours and implementing a hiring freeze, the equivalent of eliminating 165 full-time positions. In October, it also announced the closure of 49 hospital beds, leaving even more London patients to be cared for on hallway stretchers. Speaker, can the Premier explain how cutting the equivalent of 165 staff and closing 49 hospital beds will fix London’s hallway
medicine crisis? Ms. Peggy Sattler: Speaker, 11 of the closed beds are in the burns and plastics unit, which means the unit is effectively shutting down.
Nurses with specialized training in treating burns will be redeployed to other areas of
the hospital. When burn patients come in, these nurses, if they are available, will
have to leave the other patients they are caring for, compromising the care those patients receive. Vulnerable burn patients will have to be transported through the hospital for
special treatment, increasing their risk of infection. Speaker, does the minister believe that removing the burns unit from London Health Sciences Centre is good for patient care?