May 26th, 2022

Horwath’s NDP will end hallway medicine in Ontario

BRAMPTON and KITCHENER – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will end hallway medicine in Ontario by stopping the cuts, and investing to train and hire staff, fix home care, deliver universal mental health care, build hospitals and more.

“When your mom is in the hospital, you want her to have privacy and a nurse call bell — not a gurney in a brightly lit hallway. When your little one is sick, you want them to be admitted right away — not spend hours or days waiting for a bed to open up,” said Horwath.

“We can end hallway medicine in Ontario. We can stop the cuts, end the waits and finally fix what’s broken — so help is there when you need it.”

Horwath and the NDP’s plan includes:

  • Training and hiring 30,000 nurses, 10,000 personal support workers and more doctors and other frontline health care heroes to end long waits for care. One part of the plan to recruit, retain and return health care workers is repealing Doug Ford’s low-wage policy, Bill 124.
  • Increasing hospital budgets to exceed health care inflation, population growth and the unique needs of the community around it so hospitals grow with the community around them.
  • Expanding operating room hours over evenings and weekends so people don’t wait in pain for surgery.
  • Helping seniors live at home longer by overhauling home care.
  • Launching Universal Mental Health Care so anyone can get counselling or therapy in the community, instead of ending up in the hospital in crisis.
  • Recognizing the credentials of 15,000 internationally-trained nurses.
  • Building and expanding much-needed hospitals in Scarborough, Brampton, Niagara, Windsor-Essex and Kitchener; building 20 new or satellite Community Health Centres where they’re needed most; and preserving and modernizing existing hospitals and emergency care throughout the North, Welland, Port Colborne, the Fort Erie and more. That includes taking Brampton from one hospital to three by making Peel memorial a full hospital with a 24-hour ER and building the brand new hospital Brampton desperately needs.

“Doug Ford cut health care, and he’ll cut even deeper if we give him the chance. And the Liberals with Steven Del Duca in cabinet froze hospital budgets and fired 1,600 nurses. We can’t keep going like this, and we don’t have to,” said Horwath. “Together we can fix health care and end hallway medicine.”


Emergency room wait times are growing across Ontario – in March 2021, the wait time was 15.5 hours to be admitted to the hospital and in March 2022 it increased to 18.2 hours.

To recruit, retain and return health care workers, the NDP will:

  • Increase funding for enrollment in four-year BSc in Nursing programs, Nurse Practitioner seats and bridging programs for nurses to upgrade their certification.
  • Create a job-matching program to guarantee jobs for new nurses and local experience for internationally trained health care workers.
  • Leverage the knowledge and experience of internationally educated health professionals to offer culturally responsive and appropriate care, for patients more comfortable in a language other than English.
  • Dedicate funding to hospitals, long-term care, and home care to train and hire thousands of nurses, PSWs and other health care staff to increase staffing capacity and dedicate more time and attention to each patient.
  • Develop and implement a strategy to address violence against health care professionals.
  • Ensure well-paid, full-time, or full-time equivalent nursing positions, including establishing a mandate to increase full-time nursing staff in hospitals, long-term care, and home and community care and legislate paid sick days.
  • Eliminate Doug Ford’s unfair wage cap policy Bill 124, which prevents nurses and other health care workers from negotiating a fair wage. The NDP is committed to good faith bargaining with the public sector.
  • Create new jobs for late-career and recently retired nurses to mentor and supervise nursing students, new nurses, and internationally trained nurses. Facilitating mentorships will also help retain new nurses and prevent high rates of attrition.
  • Establish a dedicated and funded Return to Nursing program to attract the over 4,000 nurses who left the profession to come back to Ontario’s healthcare workforce.

To improve home and community care the NDP will:

  • Help seniors live at home longer by overhauling home care and making it a key part of health care through a $1 billion investment over four years and $235 million in the first year.
  • Make home care a key part of health care and transition the system to public, not-for-profit delivery of home care so that funding for home care goes directly to better care instead of higher profits.
  • Grow full-time, well-paid, and well-trained caregivers starting with giving personal support workers a permanent $5 per hour wage boost. The NDP will also require employers to pay PSWs for travel expenses.
  • Introducing a Seniors Home Safety Grant to help seniors cover the cost of handrails, stair lifts, and other modifications to make their home safe.
  • Introducing a Caregiver Benefit program to give caregivers $400 a month to help with expenses they take on when providing regular care for a loved one, like covering their mileage and buying personal care items.

To build new hospitals and clinics, the NDP will:

  • Invest in key hospital projects, including taking Brampton from one hospital to three, and building hospitals in Kitchener, Scarborough, Niagara, Windsor-Essex; building 20 new or satellite Community Health Centres where they’re needed most; and preserving and modernizing existing hospitals and emergency care throughout the North, Welland, Port Colborne, Fort Erie and more.

To treat mental health care in the community, the NDP will:

  • Expand OHIP coverage to include universal basic mental health care and remove barriers to accessing mental health care, relieve the economic costs of mental illness, and improve well-being for all Ontarians.
  • Publicly fund counselling and therapy services.
  • Expand existing Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program and work with community-based providers to bring them into the publicly funded system and grow networks of interdisciplinary teams for mental health care. We will increase base budgets for Community Health Centres, Indigenous Primary Health Care Organizations, and other trusted community-based organizations by 8% to support operations and program delivery.
  • Fund primary care doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and other regulated health professionals to be trained in a range of assessments and Cognitive Behavioural Therapies to increase the number of available, affordable, and culturally appropriate CBT practitioners. We will fund and support the growth of community governed family health teams to offer a continuum of care.
  • Promote local systems of care that will support a continuum of care between school and community supports. This will establish a coordinated approach to address children and youth mental health concerns and connect to family and social supports in the community as needed.

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