Health care challenges a priority as provincial election approaches

Hospital overcrowding and long-term care are top of mind in Sudbury and across the region as the provincial election draws near.
The provincial health minister and the leader of the Ontario NDP were both in Sudbury last Friday to discuss health care. (iStock)

Hospital overcrowding and long-term care are top of mind in Sudbury and across the region as the provincial election draws near.

Pre-ballot jockeying continued late last week as members of both the Ontario NDP and the ruling Liberals were in Sudbury to make health care related announcements.

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath says she came to Sudbury to bring attention to the province's struggles in health care.

Andrea Horwath (center) was joined by Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas and Sudbury NDP candidate Jamie West in Sudbury on Friday. (Benjamin Aubé/CBC)

"The government has said we're moving resources out of hospitals and we're going to invest in the community," she said.

"Well, we haven't seen the investment in the community."

Liberal health minister Eric Hoskins was also in Sudbury to announce up to $500,000 for Health Sciences North to continue planning an expansion of the NEO Kids facility.

Horwath quickly labelled the move as campaigning — but she did say, if elected, the New Democrats would maintain that funding.

Going through a process

"New Democrats have been very clear on our commitments to hospital funding, to long-term care funding ... not just a couple of months before the election, but between elections, when it counts," she said.

Hoskins rejected any notion his funding announcement was a campaign ploy.

The province's health minister, Eric Hoskins, was in Sudbury on Friday to make a funding announcement. (Benjamin Aubé/CBC)

"Everything's got to go through its process," he said.

"As it goes through its process, you get the results you want. We were able to get this through and make the announcement today."

For their part, Patrick Brown's Progressive Conservatives have stated they'll create 15,000 new long-term care beds in the next five years.

With files from Benjamin Aubé

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