Bill 60, the Your Health Act, will soon legislate the public funding of private-for profit clinics and expand the delivery of for-profit health care in Ontario.
Surgeries and diagnostics have already begun moving out of public hospitals and into for-profit clinics. While pro-privatization doctors and their business interests are praising the privatization agenda of the Ontario government, many health care advocates believe that private-for-profit clinics are not in the best interests of Ontarians, and especially not of seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes.
The Ontario government maintains that there is a need to reform Ontario’s health care system. Certainly, there is a need for improvement. But Ontario funds its hospitals at the lowest rate in Canada. As a result of government policy, we have the fewest hospital beds per capita of any province. The Ontario government has chosen to direct funding to private, for-profit clinics even though our public hospitals have operating rooms closed or underused because they don’t have the funding or staff to run them.
Last year the Ontario government underspent on health care by almost one billion dollars. According to the February, 2023 report of Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office, “There’s enough money in the overall spending plan for the government to top up health by $5 billion and education by a billion should they choose.” (Chief Financial Accountability Officer Peter Weltman) A concern of the financial accountability officer is that the government contingency fund has grown from the traditional $1 billion to $3.5 billion. This is while the public health care system is in crisis and in need of funding.
Instead of directing funding into the public system, your government doubled the funding for for-profit clinics in the last quarter of the last fiscal year. You refuse to repeal Bill 124 that restricts the wages of nurses even though the Ontario Superior Court ruled the bill unconstitutional and a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Your own internal documents corroborate the fact that Bill 124 has had a negative impact on Ontario’s ability to retain nurses in the health care sector. (Global News, January 10, 2022) The repeal of Bill 124, that suppresses the wages of nurses, would go a long way towards increasing staffing levels and easing wait times. But you are appealing the Superior Court ruling. Health Minister Sylvia Jones has described the provision of health care under the Your Health Act as a business model. RTOERO notes that operating health care as a business failed many Canadian seniors during the pandemic. A business model does not serve the best interests of patients. It serves the best interests of healthcare companies and investors. Critics of the Your Health Act maintain that it will not address the healthcare staffing crisis, shorten wait times or stop emergency rooms from closing.
Rural and northern communities may be especially hard hit by the effects of privatization since for-profit clinics tend to be located in more lucrative locations.
Smaller communities, such as ours, may be left with only underfunded, under resourced public hospitals. As your government moves ahead with privatization, there is a real concern that public health care will lose nurses, doctors and other health care workers to higher paying for-profit providers. Many communities across Ontario, including our own, dedicated countless hours and raised millions of dollars to build local hospitals. Soon after OHIP was established, Ontario passed legislation to ban any new for-profit hospitals.
The Government’s present about-face in its steadfast resolve to privatize our public hospital services trivializes the earnest efforts of so many Ontarians to build local public hospitals with improved services and access for all. Millions of dollars of public money are now being used to subsidize privatized for-profit healthcare. That money could go a long way to solve the crisis in our public hospitals.
– Marie DellaVedova, Political Advocacy Representative District 3 Algoma, RTOERO
The Polkaroo cares not
All i know is after 4 years i am still without a damn doctor after mine retired after being our doctor for over 30 years. My question to the so called health care professionals is this. I notice every day the number of people that are in the obituaries. Did these people all not have doctors ? If 1500 people die each year in our city , did not some of them have doctors. Are those doctors taking new patients once one of their existing ones passes away. We all know what the answer is . Perhaps the government or on a local level the group health centre or Sault Area Hospitals make a policy of assigning a new patient to each doctor that has a patient that passes away. If this was the case then there would be no doctor shortage. I think the doctors in the Soo have had it too easy for too long. If you truly care about your community and the people in it, there would be no doctor shortage. So people like myself don’t really care if there is privatization of our health care. Perhaps then we can see a local doctor without have to spend hours in emergency departments for each little health incident that needs attention.
Ross is not available at the moment. I’m sure he’ll appear next time there’s a photo op.
That’s about it!
You hit the nail on the head there Mike!
absence of ross for one day, mike stubs toe
mike pops in with the tired “seen ross?” bit
ross does something objectively good and gets some coverage?
mike will pop in and make paranoid accusations about sault online
right or left, you can’t win with authoritarians. they know the dishonest games they play.