Privatization of hospital clinical services is possible, Ministry of Health
discloses to Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal

THUNDER BAY, ON, April 20 /CNW/ - Predictions that setting prices and tendering for the provision of hospital clinical services would lead to privatization of those services were reinforced by the Ministry of Health on Monday. A Ministry of Health spokesperson, in an email to the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Herald stated that the government is "not considering outsourcing or privatization" and that any change in that position "would only be undertaken with consultation with the field and that implementation would be phased in to protect hospitals and the public from service disruption."

OCHU President Michael Hurley, told a convention of hospital union leaders in Thunder Bay this morning that "we are grateful for the Ministry being frank with the media about their intentions. The commercialization of hospital clinical services will lead inevitably to the privatization of those services. That is what happened in the United Kingdom where a private hospital system is flourishing. In British Columbia the Ministry of Health has announced that private providers will compete to deliver hospital clinical services."

"Because private delivery of healthcare is more expensive, there was an enormous increase in spending on the British Healthcare system to finance the move to patient-based funding. In addition, there were widespread closures of smaller community hospitals. These outcomes are unaffordable and unacceptable" Hurley told delegates.

Delegates to the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions unanimously adopted a battle plan Monday to fight the Liberals' patient-based funding model with an escalating campaign in the lead-up to the provincial election.

SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)

For further information: For further information: Michael Hurley, President, OCHU: (416) 884-0770

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