February 4th, 2019

Ford health care system privatizes some services, throws open the door to more

New documents reveal Ford health care scheme is a done deal

QUEEN’S PARK — New documents obtained by the NDP show that Ford’s scheme for health care is a done deal, cooked up behind closed doors and already signed off. The plan sends critical health care services to the private sector, and opens the door to unprecedented involvement of for-profit, private corporations in health care.

On Jan. 31, the NDP released secret government legislation that will overhaul the health care sector. The Ford government said that was merely a draft, but the NDP has obtained internal government documents that detail a finished plan that already has cabinet approval.

“It’s a done deal — legislation is written, board members have been appointed and Doug Ford already has cabinet approval,” said Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition. “But the entire Ford government has been hiding this plan from the public. Why? Because people won’t like it.”

According to confidential information given to high-ranking officials on Dec. 13, the Ford scheme privatizes services including health care inspections, laboratories, and licensing.

A new structure for health care in Ontario is laid out in a Jan. 22 briefing document. Planning and oversight functions will be transferred a new Super Agency. Among that Super Agency’s guiding principles is to “partner with public and private sector entities” when it comes to patient experience and health outcomes.

Then, front-line care will be managed by 30 to 50 MyCare Groups, formed through a bid system with “Expression of Interest” due in March.

It’s not clear if for-profit and private entities will win contracts to form MyCare Groups; but it’s clear that MyCare groups will be given unprecedented power to contract out front-line health care to private, for-profit entities.

“Every dollar that goes to private profits is a dollar that’s siphoned away from front-line patient care,” said Horwath. “The Wynne Liberals left our world-class health care system hanging by a thread. We have patients suffering through painfully long waits, and we have rampant hallway medicine making patients less comfortable, and less safe. We need every last health care dollar to go directly to delivering care and expanding Ontario’s ability to deliver care. We need to expand Canadian medicare — not let Doug Ford break it apart.”