Private, for-profit rehab clinics on the rise in response to heathcare cuts: MPP Hatfield
April 30, 2018 QUEEN’S PARK – MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh, Percy Hatfield, blamed the government’s years of cuts to essential healthcare services for creating fertile ground for American-style private, for-profit, health care clinics in Ontario after extensive wait times for cardiac rehab lured a private cardiac rehab clinic to set up permanent shop in the Windsor region last week.
“Speaker, more than 1,000 people in the Windsor area suffer a heart attack or have a cardiac event each year,” Hatfield said. “Patients have to wait anywhere from three to six months to get into rehab."
"Why has this government paved the way for private health care by under-funding our health care system in the Windsor area," Percy asked.
Hatfield pointed out that the clinic set up their pilot project in response to climbing wait times last year. Given the need, the decision to permanently stay open was made last week. There’s no wait time for the new clinic but, services are paid for out-of-pocket, Hatfield explained. He added that the Canadian Health Care Coalition is critical of the private clinics noting they can prey on vulnerable patients who may not always know their rights.
“This American-style of health care should have no place in Ontario,” said Hatfield.
The cardiologist spearheading the program was inspired by what he described as 'a stretched system in Ontario'. The Wynne Liberals shortchanged healthcare by $300 million in last year's budget. Meanwhile, Ford’s Conservatives have committed an additional $6 billion in cuts to essential public services.
“Speaker, how can the public have any faith in this government at all - when it comes to properly funding our public health care system,” Hatfield asked.
MPP Hatfield and his colleagues have committed to ending hallway medicine and to reducing wait times that includes, among other initiatives, increasing hospital funding by 5.3 per cent every year to keep pace with growing costs and to expand hospital capacity to meet the growing needs of the province.