Skip to content

Change the narrative about health care privatization

In Ontario, the push for privatization of surgeries is a calculated move to line the pockets of private shareholders. Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives have been starving the public system of critical funding and letting services and staffing deteriorate to a critical level so they can introduce privatization as a solution.

But privatization is not the answer. Any system that causes people who can’t pay out-of-pocket to have their care delayed or even denied is a system a caring society cannot tolerate. Privatization, even partial privatization, undermines the public system, siphoning away resources, infrastructure, and staff away from the system we rely on. It is a non-starter if we are to protect and expand the public health system. We don’t need “innovative solution”, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it, we need provincial and federal government to fund our public hospitals and pay health care staff. From every city and town across Ontario, we must expose the false narrative that paints privatization as a solution.

Will you write a 150-word letter to the editor to your local newspaper to defend our public health system? Use our tool below to identify the local media outlets near you, and our talking point to help draft your letter.

Talking points:

Your voice and your perspective are both key to a good letter to the editor. As much as possible, relate the facts and talking points to your personal experience in your community.

  • Doug Ford’s privatization effort is a fatal threat to the public health care system. It will siphon critical funding and staffing away from our public hospitals, worsening wait time for urgent hospital-based care.
  • The Ford government is sitting on over $2 billion in budget surplus, yet it has frozen funding to public health and continues to try to depress health care workers’ wages through Bill 124, which was recently ruled unconstitutional. Their intention is to defund public health care, let services deteriorate to a critical level, and introduce privatization as a solution.
  • Health care workers have criticized the push for privatization, saying it will worsen the current staffing shortages.
  • The same surgeries at private clinic cost more than in public hospital. A cataract surgery costs $455 in public hospitals, but $605 in a private clinic. Taxpayers are paying more for the same procedure so they can line the pockets of private clinics’ shareholders.
  • Private clinics violate the Canada Health Act, which protects the right of patients to access medically necessary services free of charge. These clinics routinely charge patients hundreds or even thousands of dollars extra for OHIP-covered procedures and upsell patients on unnecessary, uninsured procedures. Patients are paying more to access poorer quality of care.
  • The push for privatization is driven by powerful private sector interests that have been intensively lobbying to access the $600 million “market” that these surgeries represent. Some of the private clinics that stand to benefit the most are major political donors to Ford’s Progressive Conservative party, as PressProgress has revealed.
  • We know what needs to be done: reinvest in our public health care system, abolish Bill 124, pay health care workers, increase staffing levels, and work with the federal government to establish long-term solutions.