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Premier Ford announces plan to ease strain on hospitals, operating rooms

Posted: January 11, 2023

(January 11, 2023)

By: Alex Last, CHCH

In his first public address of the year, Premier Ford re-announced that Ontarians can go to local pharmacies to receive treatments for certain ailments. It’s an attempt to ease the strain on Ontario hospitals, but the premier wants to go further, by having more procedures done in private clinics.

Premier Ford says more could be done to ease the strain on hospitals, particularly, operating rooms.

The chair of the Ontario Health Coalition Ross Sutherland says operating rooms are anything but filled, and the province is to blame, “the provincial government has been cutting funding to hospitals and when that happens, hospitals restrict operating in time because they can’t afford to pay for the surgeons to come in and so we have operating rooms sitting empty in hospitals.”

Regardless, Ford is calling for private hospitals and clinics to ease hospital wait times by performing simple operations like knee and hip replacements at no cost to Ontarians.

Sutherland says while patients aren’t paying upfront, incorporating more private clinics only increases the cost to the province and thus taxpayers.

Green Party leader Mike Schreiner is calling on the premier and health minister to stop trying to sell privatization, “drop the appeal against the Bill 124 decision and immediately implement a nurse retention strategy that includes permanent raises and better working conditions for all healthcare workers.”

Sutherland adds that according to his own research, private clinics tend to try and upsell patients with tests they wouldn’t normally need.

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