I am deeply disappointed that Peggy Sattler, MPP London West and Teresa Armstrong, MPP London-Fanshawe chose yesterday to vote against legislation that will have a direct impact on patients and their families in London by providing better mental health interventions, improving transparency, protecting seniors, and increased accountability.
By voting against Bill 160, Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act they did not act in the best interest of Londoners and have clearly shown that they are not willing to put their support behind real action when it is needed.
Our government has been working extensively with patients, families and health care providers to ensure the changes proposed in this bill will improve access to care.
Community partners in London advocated for a pilot project that would allow ambulances to take patients to the Mental Health & Addictions Crisis Centre when it was appropriate to do so. The Emergency Department is not always the best place to support someone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis. We know that about 2,500 individuals who seek help for mental health and addictions crises at the hospitals in London could be more appropriately supported in a community setting like the Crisis Centre.
MPPs Sattler and Armstrong have been outspoken in calls for action to have the Ambulance Act changed to allow patients to be diverted to the Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Centre. Peggy Sattler stated “People in London cannot wait any longer... This project will not alone solve the crisis, but it will help.”
Bill 160 addressed this issue by providing paramedics with increased flexibility to deliver alternative care options to patients so our local pilot project could move forward.
In addition, Bill 160 strengthens the quality and safety inspection program for long-term care homes, including new enforcement tools. Although Teresa Armstrong has called for these changes, today she did not support implementation to strengthen oversight in long-term care homes.
The London NDP members are sending a clear message that – despite their loud voices and calls for change – they are not willing to take action and support improving our health system.
Through Bill 160 and other investments, our government is taking strong action to support community-based solutions in London ensuring Londoners have the right care, in the right place at the right time.
Deb Matthews MPP
London North Centre