I am very concerned that the present Ontario Government is increasing the role of private for-profit companies in our public health care system.
The Ontario Government is privatizing 18,000 long-term care beds for the next 30 years, privatizing the last part of home care, privatizing COVID-testing and vaccines and is now talking about allowing private for-profit clinics to operate private hospitals to perform surgeries and other procedures.
This clearly undermines our public health care system which is based on the principle that medically necessary health care should be provided on medical need not on the ability to pay.
Per capita, Ontario has the lowest health care and hospital funding and the fewest hospital beds and nurses of any province in Canada. The Ontario Government needs to invest more on public health care not on private for-profit companies which charge additional fees, reduce staff, and pay lower wages in order to pay dividends to their shareholders.
The Ontario Nurses Association states that Ontario now needs 22,000 more nurses. This serious shortage of nurses is the result of the last Liberal Government’s layoff of nurses and the present Conservative Government’s wage-suppression law, Bill 124. Ontario nurses and health care workers have been doing their best on the frontlines to care for their patients during the pandemic but the system is severely understaffed. Bill 124 should be repealed. We need to retain, recruit, and return health care workers by showing them the respect that they deserve with better wages, paid sick days and mental health supports.
At this time, many people are suffering with grief, loss, stress, depression as a result of the pandemic. The next Ontario Government should provide a universal mental health care plan that would put counselling and therapy under OHIP and expand publicly funded mental health services. The Ontario Government has the funds to improve mental health care.
Public health care will be a major issue in the Ontario election on June 2. Ontarians do not benefit from more privatization of our public health care system. We deserve better.
435 York St.