health care dollars swell Eves' campaign trough
Then guess what? Tories give green light to private MRI and CAT clinics
A report by the National Union of Public and General Employees
Ontario Tory party has always reeked of corporate influence and the stench
has never been greater than the one surrounding the rise of Ernie Eves to
the premier's office this year.
New Elections Ontario figures show Eves spent a record $3 million to win
the office when Mike Harris stepped down in April. And the total campaign
bill for all five Tory leadership candidates added up to an astonishing
The stench of corporate money surrounds Ontario Premier Ernie Eves
of the biggest donations Eves received came from private health care companies
that are now poised to cash in on
decision to allow 20 private for-profit MRI clinics and 5 private for-profit
CAT clinics to operate in Ontario. Private fees for private scans range from
$700 to $1,200.
The decision on private clinics was announced in June, just two months after
Eves became premier. Here are some of the donors and lobbyists behind his
Big health care contributors to Ernie Eves:
The Dynacare Health Group contributed
Dynacare is the third largest provider of
clinical lab services in North America and the largest private
laboratory company in Ontario. It specializes in diagnostic testing. The
company has been expanding operations by purchasing labs in public
hospitals, For example, the company benefited in 1995 from the
privatization of a
laboratory at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre.
Anthony Fell contributed $10,000:
Tony Fell is a former deputy chairman of the Royal Bank of Canada. He
is currently vice-chairman of the University Health Network, which
comprises the Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and the
Princess Margaret Cancer Hospital. Last year, Fell appealed publicly to
the Tories to open private MRI clinics.
Canadian Medical Laboratories Limited contributed $10,000:
CML's Healthcare and Diagnostic division
provides lab testing and medical imaging services across Canada. Last
November, CML added medical imaging to its portfolio of healthcare
services by acquiring DC DiagnostiCare. DC
DiagnostiCare is Canada's largest single
provider of non-hospital based imaging services with revenue in 2001 of
approximately $70 million.
Meanwhile, Eves' staff of political insiders features several former
health care lobbyists.
Eves' chief of staff, worked for Endopisis
Medical Inc., lobbying for "hospitals, privatization and outsourcing."
senior advisor to Eves' chief of staff, was a lobbyist for Canadian
Radiation Oncology Services, the private, for-profit cancer clinic that
operates at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
former Tory cabinet minister, is registered as a lobbyist for the same
Health Coalition and the Ontario Association of Radiologists say that
for-profit health care clinics will do little to reduce waiting lists in
Ontario, despite Tory claims to the contrary.
Meanwhile, politicians in other parties have also been quick to make a
connection between corporate influence and government policy.
"These companies, having contributed generously to this government, and to
this premier, are now asking that the rules be such so that they can make a
lot of money," says Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton, citing companies that
have profited since hydro deregulation. "That's exactly what's happening."
In retrospect, Eves signaled strongly when he was campaigning for Harris' job
that he was willing to do much more than listen to appeals of private health
companies for a piece of Canada's multi-billion-dollar health care industry.
Here is an excerpt from his campaign platform last winter, and a list of all
campaign contributors over $5,000:
Premier Ernie Eves' leadership document on health care:
Introduce innovative ways to make diagnostic and treatment procedures
accessible to all Ontarians, including the possible use of private
providers under a publicly funded system, as is current practice for
certain procedures, such as kidney dialysis.
to increase public private partnerships to strengthen the healthcare
itemized quarterly OHIP statements to help people understand the real
cost of health care.
For more information, please
contact Mike Luff at 613-228-9800