Jennifer’s Open Letter to the Minister of Health Concerning the Hospital Merger in Durham region

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Dear Minister Hoskins,

Earlier this year the Ministry of Health announced plans to merge the Ajax-Pickering hospital with Lakeridge Health in Durham Region.

Since your announcement, we have learned that the expected price tag for this merger is $18.2 million, and the province is refusing to foot the bill. Instead, hospitals in Oshawa and the Durham Region will be forced to cut nearly $20 million from front line services.

That will mean fewer hospital beds, fewer nurses, longer wait times, and cuts to patient care.

Your justification for taking $18.2 million from healthcare in my community is an anticipated savings of $300,000 per year. According to your own math, it will take my community 62 years to pay off the cost of this merger while our healthcare system suffers today.

This is a healthcare cut that will last a generation, and I want to know what you have to say to families and seniors in my community that will have to wait until the year 2078 to see any benefit from this decision.

Healthcare budgets in my community are already stretched, and the impact of another $20 million in cuts will be devastating. If the province stands by this merger, then it needs to stand by it financially too. I ask that you personally guarantee that this decision will not result in cuts to frontline services in my community.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

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Jennifer French

MPP Oshawa