Queen's Park, March 22, 2018 – London West MPP Peggy Sattler called on the Wynne Liberals to provide more Ontario families with the prescription drugs and dental care they need, highlighting the experience of a London family unable to afford dental care or required medications following a serious car accident that left them unable to work.
“Jason Miller and Holly Lumley live in London West with their five-year-old daughter,” said Sattler. “Their total family income is just over $2,000 each month, which makes them ineligible for ODSP. But their combined prescription drug costs are approximately $3,500 a month. This means they do not fill most of their prescriptions because they simply can’t afford to. Why does this Liberal government not care about the high cost of prescription drugs for families like Jason and Holly?”
Almost 2.2 million Ontarians go without the medication prescribed by their doctor because they can’t afford it, and 4.5 million Ontarians can’t afford to pay for oral health care.
“Jason required emergency dental care for infected canines. He had to wait in dire pain in the dental office waiting room, while his family and friends scraped together the money to pay for his treatment. Why has this Liberal government done nothing for 15 years to enable families like Jason and Holly to get the prescription medication and dental care they need?” asked Sattler.
“Instead of trying to close the gaps in Ontario’s health care system over the last 15 years, the Liberals have doubled down on Conservative-style cuts and budget freezes – leaving families on their own,” Sattler said. “After 15 years of inaction, does this Liberal government seriously think that Ontarians will believe the promises they are offering now – only 77 days before an election?”
Ontario New Democrats have committed to a universal pharmacare program that covers everyone – regardless of age, income, job status or health status. Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath also recently announced a comprehensive dental care plan that will publicly fund dental coverage for millions of people, including those on social assistance and seniors who don’t have retirement benefits. For all employed people – including part-time workers, contractors, freelancers and people working in non-traditional settings – a minimum standard for workplace dental plans will be in place. Businesses will be able to meet the standard by participating in the new publicly administered Ontario Benefits, or choosing a comparable workplace benefits plan.