The Ontario government is raising funding for hospitals by three per cent in the 2017 budget.

But France Gelinas, Nickel Belt MPP and provincial NDP health critic, said a five per cent hike is needed just to maintain services.

"I'll let you do the math," Gelinas said.

"It means they won't be able to maintain what is already unacceptable."

France Gelinas

France Gelinas, Nickel Belt MPP and Ontario NDP health critic, maintains hospitals need more than a three per cent funding increase. (Roger Corriveau CBC)

The budget increase means $518 million more for hospitals in annual operating funding.

'We're hurting'

The union president for clerical and service workers at the hospital in Sudbury, Ont., calls it a step in the right direction, but hopes it helps with workloads and translates into more front line staff and patient beds. 

"We're hurting," Dave Shelefontiuk of CUPE Local 1623 said.

"I'm hoping any increase will result in alleviating that issue, but we'll have to wait and see."

Dave Shelefontiuk

Dave Shelefontiuk, CUPE Local 1623 president, hopes the province will provide enough money to increase staff at the hospital in Sudbury, Ont. (Claude Gagnon/Radio-Canada)

There are not any measures in this year's budget to directly address the problem of patients lying on stretchers for days in the hallways waiting for beds.

But Finance Minister Charles Sousa insists a $7 billion boost  to health care over the next three years will reduce pressure on the system.