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Gélinas asks for more health care oversight

Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, the party's health critic, has questioned why the province hasn't granted Ontario's ombudsman more power to oversee the health-care sector.
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During Question Period on Feb. 29, NDP Health Critic France Gélinas called out the health minister regarding hospital funding under the 2016 budget. File photo
Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, the party's health critic, has questioned why the province hasn't granted Ontario's ombudsman more power to oversee the health-care sector.

“For a long time now, there have been calls to give the Ontario ombudsman oversight of our health-care system. Life-and-death events happen in our hospitals every day. Sometimes things go wrong, and people want answers,” Gélinas said. “What people in Ontario want, what they have said they wanted, is an independent officer. It is somebody they trust to be on their side.”

The Liberal government has instead decided to create a patient ombudsman position to oversee the health-care sector.

But Gélinas argued the new position will lack the Ontario ombudsman's independence.
Under the Liberal plan, the patient ombudsman will be appointed by cabinet, instead of the legislature.

Gélinas said the position would lack certain key investigative powers including the authority to conduct investigations inside hospitals and long-term care homes without a warrant or the consent of the government.

“People want an independent third party to answer their questions, to help them gain closure, when things go wrong in our health-care system,” she said.


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