For residents who are uninsured, Ontario needs to hit pause on current changes and develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce illnesses and costs across the health system
During the pandemic, the Ontario government and Ministry of Health recognized the importance of creating a stopgap to ensure that everyone, regardless of whether they had an OHIP card or not, could access the vital health services they needed. This was swift and prudent judgement that saved lives, helped reduce the spread of COVID-19, and allowed our health system to focus on helping people who needed help.
The discontinuation of funding for the uninsured services program for hospitals will rewiden the gap in accessing health care services in Ontario. We know that the loss of these services will have a disproportionate impact on the health of migrants, including foreign workers, expectant parents and their children, people with multiple chronic conditions, racialized people, people experiencing homelessness and people who’ve faced trauma from abuse, war and poverty, among others.
Alongside the Ontario Medical Association, we are calling for a temporary six-month extension to the existing program until a coordinated strategy can be developed and put into place taking into consideration the full spectrum of care.