Health Minister comments on hundreds of layoffs announced today

Christine Elliott

Ontario's Health Minister is commenting on the hundreds of health-sector layoffs announced today.

Christine Elliott says she knows it will be difficult for the people who will be out of work, saying unfortunately they needed to make this move to provide the people of Ontario with the connected, integrated care the PC government promised them.

More than 400 health-sector workers in back-office positions are being laid as the government moves to merge 20 agencies into one.

Another 409 vacant positions are being eliminated.

The province is consolidating 14 local health integration networks, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario and other agencies into a new organization called Ontario Health.

Elliott says each agency having its own administrative and back-office support needlessly duplicates operations and takes money from patient care.

During last year's election, Premier Doug Ford repeatedly promised that not a single person would lose their job under his government.

Elliott says he meant no front-line lay-offs.

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch says they were expecting cuts after the Financial Accountability Office stated that 2.7 billion dollars would be slashed from health care over the next two years.

He says this will create chaos for Cancer Care Ontario.