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For-profit clinics should not be funded with public money: Huntsville reader

Posted: June 6, 2023

(June 5 2023)

By: Huntsville Forester

In late May, the Ontario Health Coalition held a citizen-led referendum asking Ontarians if they support the steps the government is taking toward privatizing our health care.

Ninety-nine per cent of the nearly 400,000 people who participated voted “no” to privatizing health care, and voting results from participants in Muskoka matched this trend.

The referendum was created in response to Bill 60, which aims to fund private clinics to provide some of the services typically provided by public hospitals, such as diagnostics and some surgeries. Although these clinics are for-profit, they still receive public funding that could have otherwise been invested into our current health-care system.

Currently, Ontario provides the lowest amount of funding for health care compared to any other province. We have seen this lack of funding result in the lowest ratio of nurses per patient in Canada, backlogs for services, emergency rooms shutting down, and the loss of some local services. If the government increased the funding of our public health care to match the average funding given by other provinces, this would alleviate the backlogs and allow us to keep our local services. Instead, the government is funding private clinics, which cost more and provide lower quality services as their safety requirements and regulatory oversight are weaker.

When the results from the Ontario Health Coalition referendum were shared with Doug Ford, he dismissed them as being a part of a political poll. As a result, we must continue to put pressure on our political representatives to make decisions that are in our best interest — a quality public health-care system that is accessible to all. For-profit clinics should not be funded from the taxpayers’ dollar.

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