Mental health beds at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare remain empty because of lack of funding from Wynne government
QUEEN’S PARK—Windsor West NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky is putting pressure on the Wynne government for a funding commitment for Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare in Windsor, so that dozens of mental health beds that are sitting empty can be used to help seniors in need of mental health services.
“Decades of cuts and stagnant funding by this Liberal government have pushed our mental health system into a crisis,” said Gretzky. “Windsor’s seniors are waiting months for mental health services, and many with specialized mental health needs like dementia are being placed in acute care because there is nowhere else for them to go. But there’s an easy way to help alleviate this crisis.
“Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare in Windsor has available beds - the units are built and ready to go. All they need is the financial support of this government so that the beds can be fully operational and seniors can be placed appropriately. Ministry staff have toured the units and acknowledged the need to get them open.”
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare has 89 beds on their campus that remain unoccupied due to a lack of operating dollars. With financial support from the province, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare can use the additional capacity for a geriatric transition unit that would provide care for seniors from across the region with complex behavioural needs. As wait lists for mental health services continue to grow across the province, funding these ready-to-use beds would give much needed relief to an already over-burdened sector.
Gretzky said that the Liberal government had over a decade to fix mental health services, but life is becoming harder for seniors in need of care.
“Seniors that have worked their entire lives to better this province should get mental health services when they need them. And they should expect the same for their children and grandchildren. But we need to do more than just tinker with the same broken, the same underfunded system—it’s time for something completely different. That’s why New Democrats have promised an overhaul – and for the first time, a comprehensive Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions services.”
“Will the Minister of Health admit that Windsor families deserve better, and give Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare the financial resources that they need now?” asked Gretzky.
Ontario’s NDP is committed to giving seniors and all Ontarians health care that they can count on and coordinating mental health and addiction services through a dedicated Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction services.