January 31st, 2019

NDP reveals secret health care privatization bill written by Ford government

QUEEN'S PARK — The Devlin Report and a troubling health care privatization bill obtained by the Ontario NDP reveal that Doug Ford is revving up for severe cuts and privatization in Ontario's health care system — cuts and privatization NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she'll fight to stop.

Internal government documents obtained by the NDP, including a draft of legislation, lays out Ford’s plan to create a new “Super Agency health bureaucracy,” with a specific mandate to privatize health services such as hospitals. On Thursday, the Ford government released a report from a member of Doug Ford's inner circle, Reubin Devlin, which appears to set the stage for that health care privatization and the deep cuts. Ford is paying Devlin, who comes from his political campaign, about a million dollars to craft that and other reports.

“Every Ontarian who’s ever rushed a sick child to the emergency room, or seen an elderly parent through a medical crisis, knows that our world-class health care system is hanging by a thread after decades of cuts and underfunding by Liberal and Conservative governments — including 15 years of the Wynne Liberals' cuts,” said Horwath. "But the people of Ontario don't believe the solution to cuts is more cuts, and they certainly don't believe the answer is privatizing our health care system.

“Doug Ford’s calculating plan to cut, add bureaucracy and turn our health care system into a cash cow for private corporations is wrong, and I'm not letting it happen without a fight."

Ford's plan for super-bureaucracies would make the current LHIN system worse, making the bureaucracy bigger and further away from the community level. For rural and Northern Ontario, where services are already harder to access, the concern is even greater.

"Ontarians deserve a government that invests in front-line health care to shorten wait times and end hallway medicine. In short, when it comes to health care in Ontario, people deserve more from their government, not less.”