Ontario NDP Health and Long-Term Care Critic France Gélinas issued the following statement in response to a report released by the Ontario Health Coalition.
“Today’s report by the Ontario Health Coalition revealed further facts about the very troubling two-tiered direction in which Kathleen Wynne is taking Ontario health care. Wynne is building a health care model in which patients -- whether they can afford it or not -- feel pressure to pay up for basic and necessary health care, and the rest of us wait longer while resources are diverted into that private system.
I am deeply disturbed by the thought that families, worried about a sick loved one, can be told today in Ontario that they can have quick or high quality care only for a price. The pressure to pay is immense.
In Kathleen Wynne's two-tier health care system, substantial resources – from staff to funding – go into health care that many people are barred from because they can't or won't shell out thousands of dollars. Physician and surgeon wait lists grow longer. And those of us waiting for surgery find ourselves waiting even longer while only those who paid for diagnostic and pre-surgical tests leap-frog us to the front of the line.
New Democrats know what we stand for and who we stand with. Canadian health care is universal Medicare. No one should have to pull out a credit card to get the best quality care.
On many occasions we have demanded that Kathleen Wynne stop the system of private, two-tiered health care, extra billing of patients and double-billing for health care, but the premier has refused.
Health care in Ontario – from wait times to staffing levels – is at a tipping point after years of cuts by Liberal and Conservative governments. It has to be fixed. But Andrea Horwath and the NDP want it improved for everyone, not just for those who pay up.”