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Ontario Health Coalition
Romanow Report - Preliminary Analysis & Key Messages

1.  Key message is that Romanow discredits private for-profit healthcare

He states that Canadians reject two tier health care, user fees, out-of-pocket payments, health premiums and other forms of the privatization of the payment for Medicare

He states that for-profit healthcare is not supported by the evidence

He rejects for profit diagnostic clinics (MRIs) and P3 hospitals

This is a critical boost to our fight to stop the provincial government in its latest forays into the creation of private for-profit healthcare in Ontario.

2.  Romanow calls for an extension of the Canada Health Act

to cover post acute homecare & palliative care

to cover diagnostics (this is a bid to prevent the for profit clinics)

3.  Romanow calls for an incremental creation of a pharmacare program

starts with catastrophic drug costs then to be expanded

significantly calls for price control mechanism and a new governing body re. drugs

significantly calls for a review of the patent protection for brand name pharmaceuticals

4.  Romanow calls for new federal funding

a cash (no tax points) federal transfer that will be at 25% by 2005/6

interim directed funding for the creation of the national homecare strategy, rural and remote access, primary health care, catastrophic drug coverage

after the 25% is reached he calls for a built-in escalator

We are very pleased with these recommendations - the extension of Medicare, the discrediting of for-profit health care and out-of-pocket payment for health care, new and improved federal funding and the beginning of a national pharmacare program. But we need to go further.

- seniors and people with disabilities who are not considered “post acute” but require homecare support to live independently need to have assured access to these services.

- Romanow does not reject privatization of support services in hospitals.  He is wrong in this.

- we need a stronger enforcement mechanism to ensure provinces don’t continue to privatize the health system