Ontario Health Coalition

Ontario Health Coalition

September 19, 2007 15:48 ET

Ontario Health Coalition: Tory's Private Clinics Will Worsen Staff Shortages

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 19, 2007) -

Attn: Assignment Editor

John Tory's plan to introduce for-profit hospital clinics to Ontario will increase shortages of doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses and other health professionals, warns the Ontario Health Coalition.

"John Tory is manufacturing a crisis and manipulating patient concern about wait times to push privatization," says Natalie Mehra, director of the Ontario Health Coalition. "For-profit hospital clinics do not add one single new doctor or nurse into our health system. The main beneficiary from Tory's health policies will be the for-profit health industry."

The coalition says shortages of key personnel are the major limiting factor to increasing the number of procedures done in our non-profit hospitals.

For-profit clinics tend to locate in larger urban centers where there is a bigger "market" of people who can afford out-of-pocket fees for supplementary services from which the clinics sell to make profits.

The coalition says for-profit MRI/CT clinics brought in by the Harris government siphoned radiologists and technologists from nearby non-profit hospitals and actually led to cuts in MRI hours in the community hospitals.

The for-profit cancer treatment clinic brought in by the Harris government was shut down after it was proven by the provincial auditor to cost significantly more - and it poached nurses and its oncologist from the public non-profit system.

"Can Sarnia's hospital stand to lose their only oncologist to a private for-profit clinic in a big city?" asks Mehra. "There isn't any town in the province where there is a surplus of specialists and nurses to move out to for-profit businesses."

"What John Tory is talking about is U.S.-style for-profit hospital companies moving into Ontario and competing with our local non-profit hospitals for scarce health professionals and funding. That's not good health policy. It is simply John Tory pandering to a set of business interests."

Contact Information

  • Ontario Health Coalition
    Natalie Mehra
    Cell: (416) 230-6402