Open Letter to Minister Jaczek Re: Cataract Surgery Wait Times
March 23, 2018
Hon Helena Jaczek
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
10th Floor, Hepburn Block
80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2C4
Dear Minister Jaczek,
I am writing to you today because the seniors of my riding of Oxford are facing one of the longest wait times for cataract surgery in Ontario. This is not only a problem in my riding, we have seen increased wait times for cataract surgeries across Ontario.
In January, I wrote to the previous Minister with concerns of constituents in my riding about wait times for all surgeries. I explained that the wait time for priority 4 cataract surgery at the Woodstock Hospital is 392 days.
Older citizens are struggling to get their surgeries which results in a loss of independence. They are losing their ability to read because they can’t see and are losing their ability to drive because they can’t get their licenses renewed.
It is not fair that seniors cannot get the treatment simply because the government will not provide adequate funding. I recently met with the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and they shared with me that there are graduates who are qualified to perform these surgeries, but cannot find jobs. With our aging population, cataract surgeries are becoming more in demand however the funding has not increased to meet that demand. We need to invest in our citizens to give them the treatment they deserve.
Minister, our seniors want to be independent, I ask you to help them by providing the funding needed to ensure their vision allows that independence to continue.
Ernie Hardeman, MPP