NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Doug Ford to come clean about his government’s health care plan — specifically, about how it will impact patient care such as home care services and cancer treatment.
According to internal government documents obtained and released by the NDP on Monday, the plan Ford is cooking up behind closed doors comes with risks. Ford’s documents list “service disruption” and “labour relations and potential labour disruption,” particularly with regard to nurses, as immediate risks.
“For days, the Ford government has denied that this plot exists,” said Horwath. “But documents point to a done deal, with legislation drafted and cabinet approvals in place. At this point, people have questions about how their families will be impacted, and they deserve answers.
“How is patient care going to change? What kind of disruptions to care are families in for? And what experts has the Ford government consulted about patient impact?”
A draft of legislation and internal government documents obtained by the NDP show that the government has been planning to outsource critical services like long-term care inspections, health licensing and Ornge air ambulance, and create 30 to 50 new MyCare Groups through “Expression of Interest” bids to deliver health care without a requirement to keep it public and not-for-profit. Instead of having the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care manage service delivery, Ford’s plan creates a new Super Agency that will be able to contract out service delivery through MyCare Groups to for-profit, private companies. According to a publicly-available incorporation document, the Super Agency — Health Program Initiatives — has already been incorporated. CTV News has also obtained copies of an order-in-council establishing the corporation, although the government has not made those OICs available on the public website where orders are normally posted.
“Ford and his government have been doing all this behind closed doors, in secret — which means he knows Ontario families won’t like his plan,” said Horwath. It’s time the Conservatives quit trying to cover up its scheme to privatize crucial segments of our health care system. It’s time the Ford government stop with the denials, spin and tall tales, and just come clean,” Horwath said.
Horwath has called on the Ford government to release immediately:
- The plan that was approved by Cabinet on Jan. 16, and copies of any official orders-in-council that were signed.
- Details of the leadership of the Super Agency, Health Program Initiatives.
- Information about all the consultants hired to implement the scheme, including those hired to develop “communication strategies” to sell the idea to the public.
“The legislation and documents we’ve seen clearly show that the door is being opened to unprecedented levels of privatization — private corporations getting access to Ontario’s public health care dollars. I think that’s a deal-breaker for Ontario families,” Horwath said.
“I believe public, non-profit Canadian medicare is the way we’re going to fix Ontario’s health care — chipping it apart will only make things worse for people. And, I believe Ontario people deserve to have a say in their health care system. This back-room secret overhaul of our health care system is wrong, and it’s time that Ford came clean.”
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