Doug Ford’s cuts to healthcare will make hallway medicine worse and mean not enough beds to care for the sick.

Doug Ford’s conservative government are cutting billions from Ontario’s healthcare system and introducing radical privatization measures that will alter it in unprecedented ways.

Hospitals already lack sufficient beds to cope with so-called hallway medicine and overcrowding.

In September, 2019 more than 100 Toronto emergency room professionals urged Doug Ford to immediately reverse his cuts to public health noting that they come at a time when emergency rooms are unable to properly deal with the cuts are particularly egregious given the current opioid crisis. Read the full letter here.

Ford’s massive funding cuts and proposed restructuring of our health care system was done entirely without any public consultation and risks turning it into a profit-driven, unaccountable and centrally controlled structure that will put patients, our communities and workers last.

Doug Ford’s Bill 74, ironically called The People’s Health Care Act, 2019 will allow a quasi-privatized system to flourish that will leave health care out of reach of the most vulnerable.

Notably, the Bill creates a new health “superagency” called Ontario Health. This agency will be responsible for managing health care services and the widespread restructuring of the system that includes hospitals, long-term care, home care, community care, mental health, health clinics and more. Agencies like Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario, Ontario Health Quality Council and a number of other agencies will be rolled into the super agency run by an un-elected, government-appointed Board of Directors that will not be subject to the same accountability measures typically required in the public service.

Bill 74 does not include a stated commitment to the provision of health services by non-for-profit organizations, nor does it include a commitment to the principles of the Canada Health Act, such as the principle of publicly-administered care.

In communities across Ontario, we have already felt the impact of the creeping privatization of health care services. For example, the quality of care in for-profit long-term care homes is compromised by profit-driven models of care, while contracted out hospital services to large corporations have impacted services and the working conditions of workers at these sites.

This bill would potentially open the door wide open to private companies that will undermine health care services in their pursuit of profit.

Read Unifor’s Membership Advisory on Bill 74 here.

For a full list of Doug Ford’s cuts to health care read the Ontario Health Coalition’s summary here.

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