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Seaway News

Dear Editor,

The Ontario Conservative government has announced this past January the expansion of private for-profit clinics to perform publicly funded surgical and diagnostic procedures, privatizing and dismantling our public hospitals.

This privatization takes away desperately needed staff and funding from our public hospitals and has left our hospitals with operating rooms and emergency departments closed at various times and long wait times for surgeries and other procedures.  The private, for-profit clinics take the easy surgeries, extra bill which is unlawful, upsell patients and make the waiting list longer for everyday people.

The Ontario Health Coalition in its latest comprehensive report on February 21 stated that the data showed that the Ford government has “imposed real dollar cuts, deficits, and wage caps on public hospitals, robbing them of the ability to attract and retain staff and use their existing operating room capacity.” At the same time, the Ford government was giving hundreds of millions to private for-profit corporation clinics, staffing agencies, and the two private hospitals without any wage constraints.  The Ford Conservatives have also been paying for-profit clinics more than double what they pay public hospitals for the same OHIP-covered surgeries.  The report also shows that “the government has chosen not to spend the funding available to deal with the health care crisis, instead putting billions into their budget surplus.”

I fear that the Ontario government is moving to create a two-tier health care system, one for those with the money to jump the queue and the other for everyone else who will have to wait even longer for health care.

Our Canadian public health care system is based on the principle that medically necessary health care should be provided on a medical need not on the ability to pay.

The question now is why is the Ford government paying hundreds of millions to private for-profit corporation clinics to rebuild operating rooms and take staff out of our public hospitals’ services at a much greater cost for the province?  We already have the underused operating rooms in our public hospitals and we still have dedicated staff, volunteers, and donors.   Who really benefits from the  privatization and dismantling of our public hospitals?

The Ford government at this time should be investing more funds in our public hospitals to make full use of the operating rooms that are sitting empty, pay our dedicated health care workers a fair wage, hire more so that our hospitals can operate at full capacity and attract more doctors for primary care.

Brian Lynch,

Cornwall, ON.

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