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Why Does Privatizing our Healthcare Matter? Op-Ed

health care |
health care |

Are you asking yourself, “Why Does Privatizing our Healthcare Matter? Let’s look at some of the reasons why we should take this situation happening in Ontario very seriously.


Mental health has long been identified as a health issue that requires medical intervention and support and often for the long term. The COVID pandemic created many problems, not just from the illness itself but also the anxiety and stress caused by social isolation, loss of jobs and financial insecurity. Whole families, children, young adults, the elderly, the frail, the disabled and those with addictions and mental health problems have been affected. Never has there been such a backlog of people requiring mental health resources for which there is an ever-growing need. These people are often underprivileged and do not have the physical support nor the financial means to obtain the support and medical resources they require. Privatization of our health care will not fix these problems, nor will the continual loss of funding to many mental health resources by the Ontario government.


Ministry of Health issued a “call for applications” on Jan. 15, 2021, and clarified applicants could be a “corporation” rather than an ophthalmologist (a doctor): “The applicant does not need to be an ophthalmologist. The applicant could be a corporation that operates a Health Facility that meets the criteria for applying.”This begs the question, then - who is responsible for ensuring safe practices? Or how do you protect the unknowing patient from potential upselling of unnecessary products/procedures at these clinics? What happens if complications arise, and who pays that bill?


In an article on Nov. 20, 2019, the Ontario Health Coalition listed numerous cuts made by the Ford Government, and there have been many more since then. Wonder where the money is coming from to fund the new for-profit clinics??? For-profit clinics only serve the profitable patients -- that is, the quickest and easiest-to-care-for patients. Many of the cuts mentioned above are impacting Canadians, but often, employers provide benefits plans for their employees that pick up the shortfall. However, there are plenty of employees who are not so fortunate. The American healthcare system depends on healthcare benefits through employer-initiated benefit programs and/or additional private health insurance to cover their costs. This can be problematic, though, as some Insurance Companies do not cover certain drugs prescribed by family doctors or do not cover certain procedures carried out at the patient’s health care facility. This causes frustration for both the treating physician and for the patient and could result in poor outcomes, particularly if a necessary procedure is delayed while other options are explored. If we continue to allow private clinics to keep entering the arena – ask yourself where it will end.

Will we end up having similar problems as the US?