The private sector’s involvement in health care is the cause of many of our system’s problems, not the solution." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (22 March 2016) — The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is using bogus and predictable arguments to explain why it thinks Ontario’s health care system should be opened up to even more private sector involvement.
For-profit involvement in public health care more a problem than a solution
“There are lies, damned lies, and then there is the Chamber's use of polling statistics,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). The Chamber claims that 77 per cent of Ontarians are concerned about the health care system’s sustainability. It also says 80 per cent feel that “Ontario’s health care system will need to undergo broad reform in order to meet the challenges of changing demographics.”
“I agree with those comments,” said Thomas, “but I sure don’t believe that justifies even greater involvement of for-profit companies. The private sector’s involvement in health care is the cause of many of our system’s problems, not the solution," said Thomas.
“Yes, our health care system needs broad reform. The first step should be adequate funding for hospitals, home care, and health care workers. Step two is eliminating the growing use of private-sector companies sucking resources from the system to generate profits," he said.
Objective of health care is quality care, not profit
“Ontarians don’t want one private health care system for the rich and a poor, underfunded system for the general public. But that is where the Chamber wants to take us,” said Sara Labelle, Chair of the OPSEU Hospital Professionals Division. “The private sector wants to cherry-pick the lucrative patients. This is what the Chamber means when it talks about ‘financial incentives.’ But quality of care should be the objective, not profit.”
The Chamber has announced a year-long lobbying campaign to promote the involvement of for-profit companies in Ontario’s publicly funded health care system..Thomas said OPSEU/NUPGE would refute the Chamber’s falsehoods every step of the way.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE