Coalition Raises Red Flag About Undemocratic Process Used to Cut OHIP and Mounting Health Cuts: New Cuts Made Public Today, Less Than a Week for Public Input
Posted: May 3, 2019
| Source: Ontario Health Coalition
TORONTO, April 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Usually a change in a regulation under an Ontario law is posted in the Ontario Gazette and the public is given 60-days notice to give input, reported the Ontario Health Coalition today in response to new cuts to OHIP coverage that were posted online at: https://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=29390&language=en. But the public has only been given until Tuesday to provide feedback on the latest OHIP cuts revealed today. In the online posting, the Ford government reports that it met with private insurance corporations to consult about the changes, but not with patients and their advocates, seniors’ organizations, public interest groups or the public. The Coalition warns this is only the latest in terribly undemocratic changes to our public health care.
“Today’s newest OHIP cuts, made without any public consultation, follow on the heels of the most undemocratic process in the province’s history used to push through a massive health care restructuring law (Bill 74) last week. Bill 74 was rammed through the Legislature at top speed with only 2 part-days of public hearings in Toronto with only 1½ days notice for the public to apply for standing. Despite the outrageously short notice, almost 1,600 people and groups applied. Only 30 were heard. Amendments were due before the deadline for written submissions was reached. This is the first and only time major health restructuring legislation has been passed without a single hearing outside Toronto. The law was being implemented before it even passed in the Legislature,” said the Coalition in a public statement.
“Doug Ford has shown the most contempt for parliamentary democracy that we have ever seen,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “All of his radical health reform plans have been forged in secret and steamrolled through with the least notice, the least amount of public hearings and the fastest timelines ever. It seems the plan is to force things through before the public finds out what is happening.”
Ms. Mehra went on to explain the problems with the government’s claims regarding the newest cuts to OHIP for out-of-country travellers: “The hardest hit are seniors who cannot afford private insurance or cannot get it because of pre-existing medical conditions; those whom insurance corporations will not cover or charge prohibitive rates.” In addition, “Just because OHIP does not cover the full cost for travellers hit with unexpected illness does not mean it is useless. While it may be true that U.S. for-profit hospitals charge far more than OHIP pays, the same is not true for Canadians travelling to other countries.”
“The Ford government’s cuts to health care services are mounting at an alarming rate,” she concluded. “Every day there is a new leak or a new announcement of cuts or plans to privatize health care. Each service reduction impacts different people, but put them together and every Ontario family is going to suffer the sharp edge of Doug Ford’s cuts to health care unless we stop them.” The Coalition is tracking health cuts on their website at www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca.
The Health Coalition has called a major rally outside the Ontario Legislature (Main Building) at noon, Tuesday April 30 to protest OHIP cuts, mega-mergers and centralization of services, the threat of health care privatization, real-dollar cuts to hospital budgets and the betrayal of election promises to improve public health care not cut and privatize it.
For more information: Devorah Goldberg campaigns and research director (office) 416-441-2502 or Natalie Mehra executive director (cell) 416- 230-6402.