Privatizing health care?
The Ontario NDP has released a leaked document from the Ford government showing that the Conservatives are preparing to privatize health care in Ontario. Health Minister Christine Elliott has confirmed the leaked bill is authentic -- a draft bill, 81 pages long, titled “The Health System Efficiency Act.”
Privatization is not the answer – it leads to longer wait times, higher costs and worse care.
The bill would create a “Super Agency” to replace the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and give the Health Minister the power to force mergers or closures of hospitals, long-term care homes, community health centres and more. This bill could lead to the creation of mega-hospitals with services consolidated and privatized, while smaller and rural hospitals are closed.
The Conservative government has announced a reduction in funding for hospital beds, despite that Ontario has the fewest number of hospital beds per capita in Canada. Ontario already funds its public hospitals at the lowest rate in Canada.
Premier Ford, who made an election promise to “end hallway medicine,” is revealing his true agenda. Last fall, he appointed former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell to lead an independent inquiry into the previous Liberal government’s spending and make recommendations on “efficiencies.”
Mr Campbell’s own government cut and privatized hospitals and health care services in B.C. “Under his leadership, user fees for patients ballooned to the worst in the country. As a result of his policies, B.C. is ground zero for health care privatization in Canada, two-tier medicare is rampant, long waits and poor access to care exist throughout the system,” says the Health-Care Coalition of Canada.
Privatized health care won’t help you or me, and it will hurt the most sick and vulnerable people in our province. This will also hurt Quebec patients forced to use Ontario facilities, and lower our national commitment to public health care for all.
Council of Canadians, Ottawa