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Jul 23, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

Setting the record straight on health care funding

Brant News

Dave Levac FOR BRANT NEWS I typically use my allotted column space to inform you about what’s happening at Queens Park, about polices that have been implemented that affect you, even about legislation that has been introduced and passed by MPPs. I never thought I would have to write you to dispel myths that have made their way around through the e-mail accounts of Brant residents. I’m referring to an e-mail with the subject line "Coming to Ontario in 2013 re OHIP changes. Please read!" Let me begin by saying that this e-mail is a hoax, pure and simple. Like me, the Government of Ontario says it is fully committed to improving health care. All MPPs are, for that matter. Since 2003, the government has said it is focusing its attention on delivering better health care, closer to home, for all Ontarians. While the e-mail says that "we are seeing cutbacks throughout the services," funding has actually increased to improve health care every year since 2003. This includes a commitment to increase funding for health care that was outlined in the Ontario government’s recent provincial budget. One of the more shocking aspects of the e-mail is a reference to a purported interview with a Dr. Suzanne Allen, head of emergency services at the Wilson Medical Centre in Toronto. According to Allen: "If you needed a life-saving operation, OHIP will not provide coverage anymore after 2013 if you are 75 or over." Allen further states a timeframe: "We haven't been given a specific date…could be in January or July…but it's after the American election." When I read that section, I simply shook my head. After a fairly easy Google search of Dr. Allen and the Wilson Medical Centre in Toronto, I was lead to the Wilson Medical Centre in Tennessee. The Wilson Medical Centre has no Toronto office and Dr. Allen is a figment of the e-mail author's imagination. The actual e-mail in question is the same e-mail that was used to try and discredit President Barack Obama’s health care plan. What the author of the "Coming to Ontario" e-mail did was simply change Obama’s name with that of Premier Dalton McGuinty. In the end, despite what the e-mail states, the government is fully committed to maintaining investments in health care. It’s that clear. Aside from this horrendous e-mail, it is important that I remind you about the government's focus on improving health care with its Action Plan for Health. As I wrote in previous articles, the government's Action Plan for Health aims to provide patients with the right care, at the right place, at the right time. The focus now is on patients and creating more capacity in our communities. This means that people like you and your family members will continue to benefit from better access to quality health care. Indeed, the people who will benefit most from this are our seniors. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide you with this information. Please share with your friends that this e-mail is a hoax at best or dirty political trick at worst and should be completely disregarded. If you have any further questions about this or any other issue please don't hesitate to call my office at 519-759-0361 or e-mail me at dlevac.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org. Dave Levac is MPP for Brant and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

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