WINDSOR – NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky (Windsor-West) released the following statement in response to news that Essex County has declared a local state of emergency due to persistent long waits for ambulances:
“Hearing that Essex County went almost three consecutive hours without a single ambulance available is simply horrifying. It breaks my heart to imagine what families who called to get their loved one help might have gone through in that time. EMS services are something we all rely on when an emergency strikes, and we must make sure they are always available.
We have amazing healthcare workers and paramedics in Windsor-Essex, and they are doing everything they can to provide urgent care to our friends and loved ones. But a critical and systemic lack of hospital funding, staff, and access to primary care physicians are forcing them into impossible situations. Doug Ford has not acknowledged the depth of this crisis. It’s clear that in Essex County, Ford’s lack of health care funding has reached an emergency level.
I am urgently calling for the repeal of Bill 124, to recruit, retain, and return nurses to the health care sector, and prevent offloading delays that keep ambulances occupied. The Ford government needs to direct money from its $2.1 billion surplus into the health care sector to ensure everyone always has access to primary care from a physician, as well as critical care when an emergency strikes.”