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New report highlights negative impacts of health care privatization in Ontario

Posted: November 3, 2023

(November 2, 2023)

By: Samantha Lawson

An independent group says its new report highlights negative impacts on the Ford government’s privatization of surgeries and diagnostic procedures, saying the government’s model is unlikely to increase capacity and reduce wait times.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says its report reveals the government has dramatically increased funding to for-profit healthcare while public hospitals are facing dollar cuts.

The report says for-profit delivery would make public sector staffing shortages worse and could end up costing more for patients.

And the Ontario Health Coalition says under the Canada Health Act patients can’t be charged for medically needed hospital or physician services like cataract surgeries. But it found some clinics in Ontario are trying to charge patients for cataract surgery at higher costs.

“In the public health system, hospitals are billed around $500 per cataract. It’s a seven minute surgery, per cataract surgery, so $500 compared to $2700 for the surgeries is a ludicrous price,” Natalie Mehra from the Ontario Health Coalition said.

“There are multiple operating rooms both at HHS and Joe Brant that are not active at all, they are being used as storage rooms, because they don’t have the funding and the staff to run them.”

In a response, the Ministry of Health says their plan is working and they’ll continue to reduce wait times and connect patients to the care they need.

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