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‘It is an asinine idea’: Fears of privatization of health care rise in Ontario

Posted: August 19, 2022

(August 18, 2022)

By: Elisabetta Bianchini, Yahoo News

As part of the Ontario’s “Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery,” the provincial government will increase investment in surgeries in paediatric hospitals, and private clinics covered by Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

This comes after the provincial government faced criticism and fears, after suggesting that privatization of health could be an option in an effort to manage hospital unit closures and staff shortages.

Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, has called Doug Ford government’s stance on “expanding for-profit privatization” of the province’s health system “both outrageous and foolhardy.”

“It is an asinine idea, it is reckless, it is dangerous and yes indeed, it does actually threaten the public health care system,” Mehra said at a press conference on Wednesday. “It’s not new, it’s not innovative, it’s not particularly bold, it is a terrible idea but it’s an old idea.”

“Our message to the Ford government is, they say everything is on the table in terms of privatization, we say we are calling emergency meetings of every organization in this province that will stand up to protect our public, not-for-profit health care, and our public health care system… Everything is on the table to defend our public not-for-profit health care system.”

Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health stressed Thursday that health care “will continue to be provided to the people of Ontario through the use of your OHIP card.”

“We see the value of having some of those independent health facilities that have existed in the province of Ontario for literally decades, to take some of the pressure off of our health care partners,” Jones said at a press conference on Thursday.

“Many of those independent health facilities have arrangement and work to directly with their local community hospital.”

“Our goal of course is to stay focused on the waitlists and to do this in an integrated fashion,” Matthew Anderson, President & CEO of Ontario Health added. “Most important for us is, as we think about these services that can expand and can speed reduction in our waitlists, also doing it in a coordinated fashion where we’re not pulling staff from the public system into the private system.”

People in Ontario have taken to social media to comment on fears around privatization of the province’s healthcare system.

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