‘Fatal threat’

Dear Editor:

Doug Ford’s privatization effort is a fatal threat to the public health care system. It will siphon critical funding and staffing away from our public hospitals, worsening wait time for urgent hospital-based care and ultimately costing taxpayers more for procedures that are done in the public system and seeing our tax dollars go to large private companies (eventually hedge funds) that have been lobbying provincial governments for years to destabilize public health care.

The Ford government is sitting on over $2 billion in budget surplus, yet it has frozen funding to public health and continues to try to depress health care workers’ wages through Bill 124, which was recently ruled unconstitutional. 

Their sneaky intention is to defund public health care, let services deteriorate to a critical level, and introduce privatization as a solution.

Private clinics violate the Canada Health Act, which protects the right of patients to access medically necessary services free of charge. These clinics routinely charge patients hundreds or even thousands of dollars extra for OHIP-covered procedures and up-sell patients on unnecessary, uninsured procedures. 

Patients are paying more to access poorer quality of care. This has recently happened to me trying to get a possible skin cancer diagnosed by a private dermatologist practice in Guelph after being referred there by my doctor. It was the worst health care experience I’ve ever had.

We know what needs to be done: reinvest in our public health care system, offer pharmacare and free dental so people can stay healthier longer, offer subsidies for healthy food and exercise for preventative healthcare, help keep seniors in their homes longer, build more homes for those experiencing homelessness, get serious about solving addiction issues, abolish Bill 124, pay health care workers, increase staffing levels, and work with the federal government to establish long-term solutions.

Eliza Crosland,
Centre Wellington