9am-11am: Kingston Health Coalition 10th
Anniversary Pancake Breakfast - Bring yourself, family, and
friends and join other supporters of public health care. No charge,
Location: St. Margaret's United Church, 690 Sir John A. MacDonald
For more in-depth coverage of
recent news, please visit the
Ontario Health Coalition
and the Canadian Health Coalition
May 18, 2004 -
Provincial budget shows some important rebuilding also some
serious flaws: OHC
Today’s budget announcement includes some
significant reinvestment in the public health system but also includes
regressive moves, said the Ontario Health Coalition.
The positive announcements:
Increased multi-year funding for hospitals
Increased funding for long term care facilities and homecare
Investment in primary care reform
Increased funding and provincial responsibility for public health
Budget increases are a first step but will be inadequate in some areas.
The negative announcements:
Healthcare premiums - these premiums announced today are
regressive (more of a percent of income for $20,000 income earners than
$200,000 income earners). There are many options that the provincial
government could have chosen to raise the necessary funds for healthcare.
Using Senator Kirby’s recommendation for health premiums is a surprising
and regressive policy decision.
Inadequate capital funding equals private P3 hospitals - there is
no clear plan and inadequate funding in the budget for rebuilding
hospitals publicly. Without further capital funding announcements, this
budget looks like a plan for privatized P3 hospitals.
Delisting - some physiotherapy, optometry and chiropractic services
are to be delisted from OHIP. Since patients will still have to pay for
these services when sick or in need, this is not a savings for Ontarians,
but rather a shifting of the burden of payment to individuals and a
shrinking of the scope of public medicare.
Privatization and cost
The higher cost of the for-profit health industry must be addressed in
order to make healthcare sustainable. The shift of payment for health
services onto individuals will be a particular blow to young and poor
working people while some of the wealthiest corporations in the world
benefit from the continuing privatization and deregulation of our health
system. The provincial government must move to contain the marketing
strategies of the pharmaceutical industry that are driving up costs in
hospitals and in public drug plans. The privatized P3 hospitals will be
much more expensive than public hospitals. The provincial government needs
to develop a capital funding plan that retains public finance and control
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