Nate Erskine-Smith stands up for public healthcare, universal access across Ontario

Comprehensive plan to cut wait times, support workers and expand access to mental health

OTTAWA (25 August 2023) — Leadership candidate Nate Erskine-Smith and newly elected MPP Karen McCrimmon jointly announced a plan to strengthen Ontario’s public health-care system.

Nate’s comprehensive plan will invest in our healthcare workforce, strengthen access to family health teams, address mental health and addictions, and deliver better seniors’ care.

The Conservative government is mismanaging our public healthcare system. We have a health human resource crisis, 2.2 million Ontarians don’t have a family doctor, mental health and addictions are impacting every community, and we lack quality home and community care to ensure every senior can age with dignity. 

“We deserve high quality public healthcare and a serious government that will make smart investments, defend equity, and advance innovation in the non-profit system,” said Erskine-Smith. 

“The expansion of private care is a real cause for concern given the Conservative government’s track record of rewarding friends and donors. When it comes to the health of our kids, parents and grandparents, we deserve better.”

Erskine-Smith’s plan calls for a focus on six priorities to deliver fundamental change in our healthcare system:

  • Urgent action to address the health human resources crisis through fair wages and better working conditions, expanded placement and training opportunities in priority areas like primary and home-care, and a clear path to credential recognition for foreign-trained professionals.
  • Family health teams for everyone through expanded scope of practice for talented health professionals and increasing public investment to bring it up to par with the national average.
  • Expanded mental health access with up to 12 hours of talk therapy for every Ontarian, better support for mental health for kids, and action to treat substance use as a health issue.
  • Support aging with dignity by adopting Canada’s new long-term care standards, making new investments in home and community-based care, and improving support systems for caregivers.
  • A dedicated northern and rural healthcare strategy that reverses the trend of emergency room closures, and takes seriously the need to attract and retain healthcare workers. 
  • A resilient public health system that addresses the social determinants of health and a preventative healthy living approach. 

Karen McCrimmon, MPP for Kanata–Carleton, joined Erskine-Smith for the announcement, saying, “I re-entered politics because I believe our Liberal team is best positioned to fight for universal healthcare and a system that works better for patients. Nate has a plan to do exactly that and the natural leadership abilities to inspire others to work together for change. I’m thrilled to endorse him.”

A full backgrounder on this plan can be found here.

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