Ontario Health Coalition responds to OMA pre-election platform

TORONTO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - The Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) is responding positively, overall, to the pre-election recommendations made by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).

However, the OHC warns that one recommendation in particular that calls for increasing the number of "Independent Health Facilities" raises a red flag and could lead to for-profit hospitals and two-tier health care privatization.

"Many of the OMA's recommendations are good, particularly those that would increase the accessibility of acute care hospital beds, home care and long-term care within the public health system," said Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition director.

"However, the OMA's proposal to expand the number of 'Independent Health Facilities' is gravely problematic. While we understand the drive to improve access to operating room time and appropriate diagnostics, private clinics would worsen staffing shortages in local public hospitals and would bring in two-tier, for-profit health care. Obviously, a few greedy physicians might benefit. But neither is in the interest of the profession as a whole, nor is it in the public interest to bring in for-profit surgical centres and diagnostic clinics. We strongly encourage the OMA look at the international evidence and revisit this proposal."

Other OHC observations regarding the OMA platform:

  • The OHC supports the call for increased acute care beds, improved access to medical schools for low-income people, improved public information about food, improved public access to home care and long-term care.

  • While calling for increased numbers of doctors and physician assistants, the platform does not mention the need to address the shortage of nurses, health professionals and personal support workers, nor does it support the important work of nurse practitioners.  Our health system relies on all health teams to function well.

  • The recommendations omit any reference to the social determinants of health. This is a serious oversight that should be corrected.

SOURCE Ontario Health Coalition

For further information:

Natalie Mehra, 416-230-6402

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Ontario Health Coalition

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