March 10th, 2023

Hospital patients left behind as for-profit clinics poach staff

OTTAWA - NDP Leader Marit Stiles and Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden held a press conference today outside Ottawa Hospital’s Riverside Campus, to discuss the recent opening of a private for-profit orthopedic clinic at the hospital.

“This is about your health care – it shouldn’t be about their profits,” Stiles said. “Ford’s Conservatives want people to expect less health care – I want Ontarians to expect more because they deserve more.”

Like hospitals across the province, the Ottawa Hospital is understaffed, with 515 vacancies for registered nurses.

“And now we have a private, for-profit clinic offering nurses double what they make at the hospital,” Stiles said. “This will only lead to longer wait times for people as this government brings in for-profit care that will cost Ontarians more.”

Ford’s Conservatives have continued to say no to NDP solutions that would reduce wait times, get the lights back on in public operating rooms, and improve working conditions for health care workers. Instead, they have moved forward with their privatization plan, causing more harm to the public healthcare system. Stiles and Harden pointed to recent reports that show the Conservatives’ plan will see the province short 33,000 nurses and personal support workers by 2028 and down 500 hospital beds because there won’t be enough staff to use them.

“Ford is bringing in a two-tier system, where a small number of people with deep pockets can jump to the front of the line and make everyone else wait even longer,” Harden said.

"Nurses and healthcare staff have dedicated years to this job, and this government is taking them to court so they can continue to suppress health care workers’ wages,” Stiles said. “Staff are walking away from the field and the crisis will worsen. We won't let this government trick us into believing privatization is the solution. The answers are clear: competitive pay for staff, hire more nurses, and invest in the public system. We can do this today and give people the help they need."