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May 1, 2003

Throne Speech - What’s Missing Speaks Volumes
 Ontario Health Coalition


Toronto -    What’s new in the throne speech? Healthcare privatization, duplicity and not much else. In its response the Ontario Health Coalition said the message Ontarians should take from this throne speech is that the government has no concrete plan to solve our health system’s problems and  Medicare continues to be privatized against our will.

“Eves’ Provincial Conservatives have one idea – privatize healthcare - and they won’t even come clean about that,” said Irene Harris, coalition co chair. “From this throne speech we conclude that Ontarians who are suffering from lack of access to healthcare will continue to do so for years to come.  We conclude that the government will continue to try to cover up its agenda of privatization and refuse to engage in a real public debate about for-profit ownership and control of health care services.”

The Coalition noted that Canadians just engaged in the Romanow Report consultations that brought forward literally thousands of progressive ideas about managing waiting lists, renewing and strengthening Medicare, improving health and access, improving human resource recruitment and retention,  protecting our values and improving democratic control over the system.  It appears that virtually all of these have been ignored.

“This throne speech is stunning in its lack of vision and ideas about improving the health system for Ontarians,” said Ethel Meade, coalition co chair. “The 900,000 Ontarians without a family physician need more than superficial promises made on the eve of an election. All Eves has to offer are re-announced private MRIs & for-profit hospitals, repeated commitments to reduce waiting lists and get physicians into groups, and a repeated pretense that the government is not privatizing when it really is.  What’s new in that?”