John Tory's promotion of for-profit clinics threatens local public hospitals



    Coalition follows Tory with "Trojan Horse" on campaign trail

    TORONTO, Sept. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Progressive Conservative leader John
Tory's aggressive support for privatized hospitals and clinics in Ontario's
health care system is a "Trojan horse" - a disaster dressed up as a gift -
that voters should "return to sender", says the Ontario Health Coalition.
    "Tory is the first political leader to campaign openly for private
clinics and for-profit hospitals since the inception of Medicare," said
Natalie Mehra, Director of the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC), referring to
Tory's private health care announcements made yesterday in Toronto. "Private
clinics will drain our public health care system by siphoning off physicians
and other health care professionals, seriously risking services in our local
hospitals."
    To make its point concrete, the OHC will trail Tory while he campaigns
with its giant replica of the historical Trojan horse, drawing a parallel
between the dangerous false gift and Tory's manipulative privatization
campaign.

    
    Date:   Thursday, September 20, 2007
    Time:   8:30 AM
    Place:  Queen's Park - and following the Tory campaign from there
    

    "The Conservatives' plan would not create one new doctor or nurse," Mehra
said. "In fact, it would siphon them out of the public system, worsening
doctor and nurse shortages and making the wait times longer for the majority
of Ontarians. It would be a disaster for our community hospitals, especially
in rural areas."
    Mehra noted that lobby groups pushing these clinics make profits from
charging OHIP and from billing extra by selling untested or unnecessary health
services to patients who pay out-of-pocket. Doctors and nurses leave public
non-profit hospitals and end up spending an increasing portion of their time
providing unnecessary or untested services.
    "Evidence from Britain's experiment with private hospital clinics shows
that private clinics charge 11% more for quicker, cheaper patients, leaving
the heavier care to the public system at the same time as they rob its
scarcest health professionals," Mehra said.
    "Under a John Tory government, more and more private operators will set
up shop in Ontario, greatly expanding the role and presence of for-profit
health care, including the American for-profit hospitals and health companies
that have created such a crisis in the U.S.," Mehra warned. "Tory's health
privatization plans are a giant step towards the Americanization of our health
system."
    "Tory's extreme privatization is way out of step with Ontarians who
believe it is unethical to make profits from sick and elderly patients," Mehra
said. "Anyone who values public health care will have to reject Tory's false
'gift' for the damage it will do to the public system."




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Mehra, OHC, (416) 230-6402; Louis
Rodrigues, health care worker, Trojan horse tour operator, (613) 531-1319

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Ontario Health Coalition

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