Access To Care Key for Health Until Heading Into Election

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has laid out its priorities for this year's Provincial Election with a focus on accessibility.

Availability of dental, pharmaceuticals and mental health care were revealed as some of the key issues presented at the health unit's board meeting Thursday night.

Director of Health Promotions Nicole Dupuis tells AM800 News there are holes in the system and things like dental care should be funded like all other health procedures in Ontario.

"You could boil a lot of them down to access and equity. Looking at issues in our healthcare system that are certainly important and we have data to show how important they are," she says. "Kind of highlights how important oral health is, there's a lot of barriers to accessing oral health in particular with adults and seniors because there is no OHIP [Ontario Health Insurance Plan]."

Dupuis says strides have been made in mental health, but there's still a gap in service for many in need.

"We need more money in the mental health system, there are long waits. There's need for a broadening of services in our community and we've recently had a lot of funding announcements for mental health, but it's just bringing more of that," she says.

The health unit will also be pushing for more support for the Opioid Strategy Action Plan for Ontario, a public health approach to cannabis, and tighter restrictions on tobacco.