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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Letter: Liberals, NDP need to act to stop privatized health care
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

Please consider this an open letter to the NDP and Liberal parties of Ontario.

As Premier Doug Ford seeks to privatize more and more of Ontario’s health care facilities, citizens of Niagara-on-the-Lake (as well as all other Ontarians) should be concerned.

For instance, Ford maintains that services such as surgeries at these private clinics will be paid for with your OHIP card and not your credit card.

Unfortunately, this is just another in a long list of his shameless lies. He knows that is a bogus statement since capitalism will find a way to stick it to patients.

To wit, my brother-in-law recently required an iron infusion. He was told by his doctor that if he took the iron supplements orally, it would take several months for his iron numbers to reach a therapeutic level.

Or, he could be infused and cut that time down substantially. He chose the latter method and was referred to a clinic (obviously private) in the doctor’s building.

Of course, when it came time to settle up, he paid for the infusion with his OHIP card. But then he was presented with an additional invoice for $75.

When he asked what it was for, he was told it was for the rental of the chair in which he was infused and the services of the nurse who administered the infusion.

Incidentally, the private clinic would only accept his credit card and not his OHIP card for payment.

If Ford gets his way and brings in these private, for-profit clinics, rest assured, you are going to be paying for something out-of-pocket. (“Oh, you’d like anesthetic with your hernia repair?”)

So, how do we stop a Conservative party hell-bent on slowly killing public health care by allowing private companies to access the public purse?

Sadly, in Canada, a majority government is the closest thing to a dictatorship in a democratic society. With no checks or balances, they are free to do what they want.

The only way to control them seems to be to shame them. And when you have someone as shameless as Doug Ford at the helm, that simply doesn’t work.

Therefore, it is time for the leaders of the New Democrats (Marit Stiles) and the leader of the Liberals (if they ever find one) to proclaim long and loud and often that all the private, for-profit health care companies clustered at Ontario’s borders be aware that when power changes hands (and it will) these new, private health care facilities will be immediately closed.

The Ontario health care dollars that previously flowed into their private coffers will then be redirected into public health care, where we will get more bang for our buck since there is no profit factor diluting effectiveness.

Then let’s see how many private health care clinics rush into Ontario to build new, expensive surgical facilities to serve the greed of their shareholders when they know that their shelf life might only be three years.

J. Richard Wright

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