I believe the ongoing issue with overcrowded emergency rooms at most Ontario hospitals as well as patient wait times will surely be a major issue going into the 2018 Ontario provincial election.
It occurs to me that perhaps one of the best ways to alleviate some of the stress on overcrowded ERs would be not only to permit but also encourage by way of financial incentive (i.e., tax credits, student loan forgiveness, ect) keeping all existing walk in medical clinics open on a continual 24/7 basis. While many walk in medical clinics already have extended hours - the fact remains that Ontarians typically only have the option of going to the ER of their local hospital for non-emergency issues which may occur at 2:00 AM, but which still warrant medical attention.
It is also increasingly difficult for many Ontarians who work night shifts and so forth to see frontline healthcare workers during "normal business hours".
I strongly believe that it is more important than ever before in the 24/7 globalized society which we are currently living in that Ontarians have easy access to frontline medical attention on a continual 24/7 basis - which does not place undue burden on hospital ERs.
Even if each and every current medical walk in clinic only had just one doctor and one medical staff member available between the hours of 8 PM to 6 AM - it would greatly alliviate the current stress on hospital ERs all across Ontario.
I had to go to the ER as a result of food poisoning back in the summer. I had a high fever and was very dehydrated.
I arrived in the ER at 1 AM and did not see a doctor until 4 AM. I was briefly examined and given a proscription for
a strong antiemetic. My condition warrented medical attention but it was not a medical emergency. I had to wait behind all of those in the ER with stab wounds and heart attacks. It a walk in clinic had been open I would have gone there instead.