London man in critical condition stuck in Mexico, awaiting a hospital bed in Ontario

Queen’s Park – February 28, 2018 

Stuart Cline, a resident of London, Ontario, is stuck in a Mexican hospital in critical condition as he waits for a hospital bed to open up at home.

Stuart is suffering from a brain bleed, complicated by a heart condition that requires blood thinners and a pacemaker. His wife and daughter-in-law are with him, and are begging the province to bring him home as soon as possible so he can see the neurologist he urgently needs.

This is the third time in just two weeks the NDP has raised the desperate situations of individuals denied timely transfer home to a hospital in their community, solely because of the severe overcrowding and hallway medicine crisis in Ontario.

“This family is living a nightmare,” said London West MPP Peggy Sattler. Sattler’s office has been working with the Cline family since she learned about Stuart’s situation on Tuesday morning. “Stuart is in critical condition, and he is deteriorating rapidly. He needs to come home, now. He should have come home on Saturday. It’s an absolute disgrace that our hospitals do not have space for him.”

Sattler was critical of both the current Liberal government and previous Conservative government on Wednesday as she rose during question period. She demanded to know why Ontario’s health care system is failing Cline and his family, and asked for a promise that Stuart will be transferred to an Ontario hospital Wednesday.

“This Liberal government has been in charge of our health care system for 15 years, and look where we are now,” said Sattler. “After the Conservatives closed 28 Ontario hospitals and fired 6,000 nurses, the Liberals just made things worse, shortchanging hospitals by at least $300 million this year alone. Stuart, all Londoners, and every family in this province should be able to depend on our hospital system in an emergency – but situations like this one have badly shaken that confidence.”

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath has promised that an NDP government will fund hospitals at minimum to the rate of inflation and population growth, and will consider the unique needs of communities. London hospitals have been far from immune to the decades of underfunding – London Health Sciences is often more than 100 per cent full, and recently has been forced to take the extraordinary measure of postponing cardiac surgeries due to the overcrowding crisis. For some heart patients, critical surgery has been pushed back multiple times.