NDP say more leaked documents show PC healthcare plan includes privatization

Ed Middleton  CBC

Ed Middleton CBC

"One thing that I think all of us in Ontario agree on is that everyone should have access to a publicly funded health-care system, and that people should pay for their services with their OHIP card and there should be no opportunity for people to skip in line or move ahead in line over other people because of monetary considerations", she said.

Ontario's Opposition says it has obtained more government documents that show a plan to create a health "super agency" is final, despite the health minister saying proposed changes to the system are still being drafted.

However cabinet documents, signed by both Elliott and given Royal Assent by Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Dowdswell, detail payment plans when permanent board members for the super agency are named including a $350 per diem for the chair.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is just fearmongering in order to fundraise, Elliott said, pointing out an NDP web post about the documents that leads to a plea for cash.

The Ford government is asking the OPP to investigate the massive leak of government documents to the NDP.

The NDP would not say how the documents were obtained but shortly after they were released the PC's said a staffer with the Ontario Public Service had been fired for leaking the documents and that the Ontario Provincial Police have been notified. It was a draft piece of legislation outlining how the government plans to overhaul the administration of Ontario's health-care system.

Critical services already slated to be outsourced to the private sector include, inspections, laboratories, licensing, devices, Ornge.

Horwath said that the Super Agency's guiding principles is to "partner with public and private sector entities".

"We will not be privatizing any of the services referenced today by Andrea Horwath", Elliott said.

The documents mention an expression of interest for the MyCare groups going out in March, which the NDP are interpreting as allowing the contracting out of front-line health care to private, for-profit entities.

Another document lists risks in the plan, including "service disruption and capacity to manage and oversee (local health integration network) functions during transition period", as well as potential labour disruption with unionized care co-ordinators at the networks.

"I will not be distracted by Andrea Horwath's shallow, partisan attempts to politicize health care". They also show a new model of "integrated care delivery" is being created, called MyCare groups, meant to "provide patients with seamless, co-ordinated care and a single team of providers for all their care needs".

"It's a huge budget with $61 billion being spent, but study after study has indicated that we're not getting the best value for those health-care dollars", she said.

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