March 8, 2022
The Honourable Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
RE: Sudbury business concerns regarding local health care services
Dear Premier Ford,
We are writing to you on behalf of the membership of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce to share our concerns and priorities regarding the lack of health care services in Sudbury. Our chamber represents over 700 businesses and during the pandemic has endeavored to communicate business priorities to all levels of government. We value your ongoing leadership and your government’s decision to lift many of the COVID-19 restrictions. Businesses have endured more than enough hardship throughout the pandemic and are now looking forward to a path of economic recovery.
Due to the lack of health care services, in particular an insufficient number of beds at Health Sciences North (HSN) to services the hospital’s needs as a regional referral centre, as well as in long-term care residences, Public Health Sudbury and Districts had to impose stringent COVID-19 restrictions which directly affected local businesses. The wait time for surgeries is longer then provincial average and our residents disproportionately suffer from limited mental health services and have seen an increasing number of opioid-related deaths during the pandemic. The past two years have put an additional strain on HSN’s service efficiency. At times, residents have no choice but to travel to other parts of the province to access much-needed care that should be available to them locally. In addition, similar to other industries, the health care and long-term care sectors are experiencing challenges in hiring new workers. We ask that your government approve HSN’s application for $5 million capital funding and invest more into Sudbury and northern Ontario so that our residents can continue receiving quality and timely health care services. Your government’s support will also help our service providers to be prepared for any future unforeseen circumstances similar to the pandemic.
We trust you will take the above-noted concerns and priorities of our business members into consideration as you manage the pandemic in the coming weeks and province’s recovery from its effects. Our chamber will continue to communicate the priorities of our members as the province advances toward economic recovery.
Chair of the Board
cc Dominic Giroux, President and CEO, Health Sciences North
Download the letter here.