All Ontario Political Parties Should Make Clear Commitment Against
For-Profit Privatization of Health Care Before October 6 Provincial Election
TORONTO, June 21, 2011 /CNW/ - The Ontario Health Coalition applauds the
McGuinty government for making a clear commitment to pursue legal
action against private for-profit clinics and physicians that charge
patients unlawful fees for health care.
The coalition urges media to publicize the toll free phone line and
email complaint line for patients to use if they have a complaint or
question about a fee that they have been charged for health care services.
The toll-free number is 1-888-662-6613 and the email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The coalition is using the opportunity afforded by this announcement to
press all political parties in Ontario to make a clear commitment to
stop the expansion of private for-profit clinics and health care
"We applaud the McGuinty government for making a clear commitment to
pursue legal action to uphold protections for patients against illegal
user fees and extra-billing," said Natalie Mehra, Director of the
Ontario Health Coalition.
"The evidence is very clear that private for-profit clinics maximize
their profits by charging the tax-payer funded health system and
charging patients fees on top - even when these fees are illegal," she
added. "This is one of the reasons that private health clinics and
institutions are such a threat to an equal and fair health system.
These user fees are a fundamental violation of the principles of our
public health care system which is supposed to provide care based on
need, not on wealth or ability to pay."
"Equally important, Ontarians need to know now where each political
party stands on private for-profit clinics and health care services
before the provincial election on October 6," she said. "We are asking
each of the provincial political party leaders to make a clear
commitment to roll back the expansion of for-profit clinics and
institutions, the majority of which charge patients illegal fees and
undermine public medicare in Canada, and instead improve health care in
Ontario through our public and non-profit institutions and services."
"We are pleased with the leadership being shown by Ontario's government
in safeguarding universal single-tier Medicare," added Mike McBane
National Coordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition. "In provinces
with the most private for-profit clinics, including British Columbia,
Alberta and Quebec, we are seeing unlawful fees charged to patients
that amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. We urge other
provinces to take the same steps as Ontario: make it easy for patients
to levy complaints; investigate these complaints promptly; and take
legal action against the private clinics and physicians that break
Canada's Medicare laws."
The OHC conducted a major research project in which we found that the
majority of the private for-profit clinics in Canada are charging
patients user fees, even in violation of Canada's medicare laws. The
results are contained in a report "Eroding Public Medicare: Lessons and
Consequences of For-Profit Health Care Across Canada" at http://www.web.net/~ohc/Eroding%20Public%20Medicare.pdf
SOURCE Ontario Health Coalition
For further information:
Natalie Mehra 416-230-6402 or Mike McBane 613-277-6295