QUEEN'S PARK - France Gélinas (Nickel Belt), Official Opposition NDP Health Critic, issued a statement following media reports revealing that the Ford Conservatives are paying for-profit clinics more than public hospitals for the same OHIP-covered surgeries:
"Unlike public hospitals, which provide the care we require based on our needs, the number one goal of private clinics is to make money. Ford’s Conservatives are making sure that clinic owners make a lot of money off the backs of sick people at the expense of taxpayers. These same for-profit clinics only accept easy clients, sending the riskier, more complex patients to public hospitals. Yet, they get paid more to do the easy cases than the public hospitals, which care for everyone. We should be cracking down on this predatory practice, not expanding privatization in health care. Investing in our public health care system is the only way to protect it."
Last year, Gélinas introduced her Health Care is Not for Sale Act to stop the Conservatives from sending more surgeries to for-profit clinics. The proposed bill would have safeguarded Ontarians from unfair and illegal health care fees and ensured that there are consequences for for-profit facilities that charge Ontarians unfair fees. Ford's Conservatives voted ‘NO,’ defeating the bill and continue to support a system that exploits individuals needing medical care.
"Doug Ford isn't shutting down these predatory practices; he's letting for-profit clinics cash in, leaving patients to foot the bill. Shifting surgeries to these clinics only worsens our health crisis, draining resources from our public hospitals."
- CBC’s report focused on the privately-owned Don Mills Surgical Unit, which was paid rates "noticeably" higher than the province provides hospitals for the same procedures.
- The for-profit clinic received premiums from the government, which in the case of cataracts were more than double what public hospitals received, and as many as three times more for knee arthroscopy.
- Don Mills Surgical Unit is part of Clearpoint Health Network, for whom former Conservative health minister Christine Elliott registered to lobby her previous colleagues. Her goals are to “engage the government in updating and increasing the base funding amount available to Clearpoint.”
- An investigation has also found that Doug Ford’s donors keep benefitting from the Conservatives’ health care privatization.