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August 4th, 2022

Singh: ERs are being forced to close across the country, Trudeau has duty to help fix now

During the last election, Justin Trudeau promised Canadians he would improve and expand our health care system, almost a year later, Canadians needing care are still waiting

OTTAWA – As emergency rooms across the country are forced to shut their doors, the Liberal government has refused to meet with provinces and territories and continues to look for excuses and ways to blame others instead of getting to the table to find solutions to fix the problem. Today, Canada's NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on Justin Trudeau to show leadership with solutions to help health care workers, and the people they care for, now.

“Justin Trudeau promised to keep our healthcare system public, but because of negligence he has left it open to the very real threats of privatization. I believe Canada’s public healthcare system and workers are worth protecting,” said Singh. “No one should be denied the care they need because our system is broken. I also believe that as leaders, it’s our duty to show up and work to make things better. When it’s easy – and when it’s not.”

Recent report after report has shown emergency rooms have had to close in every province and territory, leaving people with nowhere to go or having to travel long distances to get urgent help. The most urgent problem facing our health care system is staffing. Experts and healthcare groups have presented solutions that can help Canadians get the care they need now.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to:

  • Support provinces and territories in recognizing the credentials of internationally trained doctors, nurses, and specialists.
  • Create a national healthcare human resource data collection and coordination agency and provide pan-Canadian licensure for health professionals.
  • In Ontario alone, there are 15,000 international nurses waiting to be processed – processing these nurses would make an immediate difference in hospitals across the province.

"Ontarians and Canadians across the country want solutions to the nursing crisis. There is no one better to guide those solutions than nurses and health-care professionals," says Cathryn Hoy, President of the Ontario Nurses Association. "We call on the federal government and each respective provincial government to heed our calls to action with the same urgency that nurses and health-care professionals had in responding to the pandemic. We need action now. Our patients can't wait."

“When the Liberals promised to bring us forward together, they left behind the healthcare professionals who we called heroes just a few months ago,” added Singh. “New Democrats stand in solidarity with healthcare workers across the country and with the patients they have dedicated their lives to helping. It’s time to do better – to be better – because people are counting on us to show leadership and defend our public healthcare system.”