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Jagmeet Singh Calls for Emergency Debate Regarding Children’s Health Care

Centre Court Developments

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has requested an emergency debate in the House of Commons prompted by the situation in Canada’s children’s hospitals. The country is currently dealing with an overwhelming surge in number of patients, especially children, in need of care due to respiratory illnesses.

Jagmeet Singh has been trying to bring more attention to the medical system in Canada. He has written to the Speaker asking for a notice to be put out for an emergency meeting regarding the “urgent and escalating” situation in Canada’s children’s hospitals. Singh also cited several alarming situations across the country. The NDP leader has been calling for federal action in response to the current state of hospitals.

Last week, the children’s hospital in Ottawa, CHEO, asked the Canadian Red Cross to help bolster the staff that is treating a record number of babies and children with respiratory illnesses. Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary is so overwhelmed with patients that it is using a heated trailer as an overflow waiting room.

Last week, Singh stated that the Canadian healthcare system is facing a “national crisis.” He pointed out that one of the major concerns is health care resource shortage which cannot be solved by provinces that are focussed on recruiting from one province. He added, “There may come a time when it becomes clear to us that the Liberal government is just not willing to do what’s needed to help people — and we reserve the right to withhold our support.

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Furthermore, all 13 premiers of Canadian provinces and territories demanded a meeting with PM Justin Trudeau regarding funding amid the ongoing healthcare crisis. It was also reported that the health network is looking to hire unvaccinated healthcare workers. It was reviewing its COVID-19 vaccination policy to try and hire unvaccinated healthcare workers amid severe staff shortages. The health network runs four hospitals in Chesley, Durham, Kincardine, and Walkerton. All of them had to close down their Emergency Departments due to staff shortages.

Canada’s medical system is struggling to keep up with the surge in patients. An increasing number of respiratory illnesses caused by Influenza, RSV, and COVID-19 have put hospitals, pharmacies, and staff under a lot of pressure. Children’s hospitals are also facing difficulties in keeping up with the demand. The medicine shortage, however, has somewhat been addressed as new stock has started to arrive at pharmacies.

Last month, Ontario health minister Sylvia Jones announced the government will invest $182 million this year in critical upgrades, repairs, and maintenance across Ontario in 131 hospitals and 65 community house service providers.

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