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New ON Public Hospitals Act must listen to the public, not private lobby — health coalition

McGuinty already worked with hospital execs to do away with transparency through secrecy clause.

Mehra: Privatization would dismantle public healthcare. Improvements should be made to public systemTORONTO, ON, November 22, 2011: In light of public statements by Don Drummond and the Premier's reference to patient "choice" in the Throne Speech, the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) is seeking specific assurance from the Premier that he will not allow the privatization of hospital care. Noting that health and hospital reform to date has been undemocratic and threatens local access to needed services, the Health Coalition is warning that the new Public Hospitals Act announced in the throne speech must be based on consultations with public interest organisations and patients' groups, not just the hospital executives' lobby.

"We are very concerned that the McGuinty government is contemplating private clinics for hospital services. We have asked for clarification on what "patient choice" language in the Throne Speech means. The evidence is that private clinics do not enhance choice. Instead they charge user-fees, result in higher costs, fragment care and create two-tier health care," noted Natalie Mehra, OHC director.

  "In recent years, we have seen the eradication of local democratic hospital boards in communities across Ontario called a 'best practice.'"

"We will oppose any such privatization in the strongest way possible. Privatization would dismantle public health care in Ontario. Any improvements should be made within the public hospital system."

"In recent years, we have seen the eradication of local democratic hospital boards in communities across Ontario called a "best practice" and facilitated by the McGuinty government. As a result, hospital CEOs can dominate self-appointing boards and avoid tough questions about planned service cuts. Last spring, in a deal between the McGuinty government and the hospitals' lobby group, the government passed the "hospital secrecy clause" enabling hospitals to refuse disclosure on quality of care information in hospitals," warned Natalie Mehra, coalition director. "In the development the new Public Hospitals Act announced in the Throne Speech, there must be a proper democratic process that includes, as a priority, the voices of patients, seniors, caregivers, hospital staff and the public interest."

Links and sources
  Deep concern about health reform plans, privatization: OHC response to throne speech

Posted: November 23, 2011

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  Health care
  Public services
  Front lines

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