Cline family deserves an apology

Queen's Park, March 6, 2018 – London West MPP Peggy Sattler says the Liberal minister of health should apologize to the family of Stuart Cline.  

Cline passed away in St. Catharines after waiting for five days in a Mexican hospital with a brain bleed, following a serious fall while on vacation. The family was told there were no beds in Ontario available to treat Cline once he was stabilized and ready to travel home.

“Yesterday, Stuart’s son David went on the radio and asked for an apology from the minister of health.  Despite the health minister’s assurances that her ministry was ‘fully engaged’ in helping coordinate Stuart’s return, Mr. Cline said neither the minister nor her staff made one phone call to the family the entire time they were dealing with Stuart’s health crisis. This lack of contact, and the minister’s claims to the contrary, was an insult to David and his family.”

David Cline also said it was “inexcusable” for the minister to try to deflect accountability for the government’s role in this heartbreaking situation. While the minster blamed his insurance company for not working hard enough to find a bed for Stuart, Mr. Cline said the insurer was very diligent, calling multiple hospitals all over the province daily.

“It’s shocking to see this Liberal government blaming others instead of taking responsibility for their own failings when it comes to the overcrowding and hallway medicine crisis in Ontario’s hospitals,” said Sattler. “We have a Conservative party vowing to cut at least another $6.1 billion from the services we count on and the Liberals who have done nothing but make hospital overcrowding worse in their 15 years in office.  We need change for the better in Ontario’s hospitals – a case like Mr. Cline’s should never happen again.”

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath has been clear on her plan to end the hospital overcrowding and hallway medicine crisis. She’s committed to making health care a priority – tackling hallway medicine and long waits in health care with funding that, at a minimum, keeps up with inflation, population growth and the unique needs of each community.