Fighting Ford: Ontarios New Healthcare Act

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1795 ... March 31, 2019

Fighting Ford: Ontario’s New Healthcare Act

Natalie Mehra

It is called "The People’s Health Care Act." But the new healthcare omnibus bill, being rushed at breakneck speed through Ontario’s Legislature by Doug Ford’s majority caucus, does not reflect his promises to "the people" in the election. It does not open a single operating room (OR) to speed up surgical wait times, though lack of operating funds means that there are closed ORs in every major hospital in Ontario. It doesn’t add a single new nursing home space, nor one more nurse, health professional, or doctor. It doesn’t open any of the dozens of hospital wards, closed down as real-dollar funding has been tightened year after year. Yet Ontario has the fewest hospital beds left of... any province in the country.

The evidence is abundant that Ontario has a serious healthcare capacity problem. Cuts and rationing have gone too far. Health funding in this province has dropped to dead last in Canada. In fact, during the election, Ford traversed the province promising an expansion -- not a wholesale dismembering -- of the health system.

But what is in Ford’s healthcare omnibus bill is a new "super agency" forged out of 20 existing agencies with widely disparate mandates, histories, levels of effectiveness, and cultures. That alone is a mega-merger which carries a great deal of risk for vital patient care services.

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