NDP say more leaked documents show PC healthcare plan includes privatization

Alicia Farmer
February 6, 2019

Elliott said Horwath's interpretation of that section was incorrect, but she would not say what it is actually meant to do.

"It's clear that the only ones trying to profit from our public health care system today are the NDP".

Last week the NDP released a draft version of upcoming PC health-care legislation, which would dissolve the province's Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) and create a "super agency" to oversee the health system.

The NDP said in a January 31 news release that they had obtained a health care privatization bill that indicated Doug Ford is revving up for serious cuts and privatization in Ontario's health care system.

"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.

Ontario's health minister was forced to make assurances Monday that long-term care inspections and the province's air ambulance service will not be privatized, as leaked documents appear to peg those services for "outsourcing". "As we bring forward desperately needed and overdue change to health-care in this province, Ontarians will continue to access reliable, public health-care".

A memo went out to the entire Ontario Public Service Monday reminding bureaucrats about the need to protect confidential government information, and letting them know that a civil servant believed to be the source of the leaks was no longer employed.

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A new structure for health care in Ontario is laid out in a January 22 briefing document.

One document, as part of a December 13 workshop for assistant deputy ministers, references outsourcing laboratories - many of which are already privately run - inspections, licensing, devices and the province's air ambulance service, Ornge.

Horwath says the documents reveal that the plan to create a health "super agency" is final, despite Elliott saying last week that the proposed changes to the system are still being drafted.

Horwath said that the Super Agency's guiding principles is to "partner with public and private sector entities".

The super agency would then be responsible for everything from health care planning and delivery to labour relations, procurement and financial management.

Elliott said none of those services will be privatized.

Elliott did not rule out further private delivery of health care within the public system - such as companies that do diagnostic testing - but says that isn't the focus of the health-care transformation. 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 the power to contract out frontline health care to private, for-profit entities.

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