November 25th, 2022

Ford Conservatives confirm intent to privatize health care by voting down NDP bill to ban unfair fees

QUEEN’S PARK — Doug Ford’s Conservatives voted down an NDP proposal to stop for-profit clinics from sticking Ontario patients with big bills. NDP Health critic France Gélinas said the vote confirms that Ford is determined to pursue privatization in health care.

Gélinas’ private member’s bill would have cracked down on clinics and professionals that are exploiting loopholes to charge patients for OHIP-covered services and add-ons. Her Health Care is Not for Sale Act proposed to introduce consequences for clinics and professionals who engage in this unfair practice. Penalties would have included fines and licence suspensions, and a requirement to reimburse patients.

“We know Doug Ford wants to send more surgeries to for-profit clinics, and now we have proof he is okay with Ontarians being forced to pull out their credit card to access OHIP-covered services,” said Gélinas. “By rejecting my proposal to crack down on the predatory practice of charging for OHIP-covered services and tacking on extra fees, Doug Ford’s Conservatives have confirmed they won’t back off their scheme to pursue privatization.”

The Ford Conservatives voted down the NDP private member’s bill just hours after five health care unions came together to ask the government to say no to privatization.

“We should be strengthening our precious public health care system by investing it, not sending more surgeries to for-profit clinics,” said Gélinas. “Mr. Ford’s refusal to ban predatory fees will mean patients get sent home with big bills more often, or wait even longer in pain as resources are siphoned from public to private.

“Ontarians can rest assured that the NDP will continue our campaign to keep health care public.”