Private health care? "Let's not go there"



    More questionable judgment from John Tory putting private interests first

    TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - Today, John Tory continued to put private
interests ahead of public services with his questionable scheme for private
clinics.
    "John Tory is continuing his campaign to put private interests ahead of
the public interest," said Health Minister George Smitherman. "Whether it's
education or healthcare, Conservatives are threatening our public services."
    Tory's questionable private clinic scheme would exclude those who need
help the most.
    "You wind up paying more for private corporations that cherry pick the
easy cases and rack up big profits," said Smitherman.
    The Conservative private health care scheme comes on the heels of Frank
Klees, a senior candidate, calling for "Klees fees," a charge every time you
see a doctor or visit an ER.
    "At every turn Conservatives favour private, for profit health care. Only
the McGuinty Liberals will stand up for and champion public health care," said
Smitherman.

    Here's what the experts say about private clinics:

    "For-profit clinics...'cherry pick' patients who are healthier, younger
or have conditions that are cheaper to treat, while leaving more complicated
cases to a public system with fewer health-care professionals"

    Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), Press Release, August 1,
    2007

    "The catch is this: The average patient at (private clinics) is 30 per
cent less complex to treat than the average hospital patient. This means our
most vulnerable patients waiting for hip and knee replacements, including the
frail elderly, would likely not make the cut. This is just one of the ways
for-profit corporations can ensure a higher profit margin."

    Dr. Danielle Martin, Chair, Canadian Doctors for Medicare, Toronto Star,
    March 30, 2007

    "It would be very unwise for Ontario to head in the direction of
for-profit surgical clinics and hospitals. Research consistently shows higher
risk-adjusted death rates and higher costs for care in for-profit versus
not-for-profit facilities. The last thing we should do is make the situation
worse by introducing private clinics."

    Dr. PJ Devereaux, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    at McMaster University. Press Release, March 16, 2007





For further information:

For further information: Ben Chin, (416) 961-3800 ext. 412,
ben_chin@ontarioliberal.ca

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