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Friday, November 11, 2016



 Nov 11,2016

Imagine if Ontario’s education minister had absolute power over the education system. Imagine she could dictate the hours, number of students and education plans of every teacher, and pay them whatever she wanted.
Would the best teachers stay in Ontario? Would this near serfdom adversely affect the quality of teaching delivered to children? Of course, Ontario’s Liberal government would never do that to teachers. But it is doing it to health-care professionals. We make easy targets for class warfare. We cannot fight back, as we will not strike. As ugly as our relationship with the government has been, it is about to get worse with Bill 41, ironically named the “Patients First Act”.
Under it, the health ministry will create a new layer of administration and splinter the province into even tinier pockets of health care bureaucracy. Ontario will go from 14 health boards to 80, each with its own personnel.
Canada already has one of the highest number of health care administrators per capita in the world. Our current bureaucracy was labelled by Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk’s 2015 annual report as "wasteful."
So, for a province that can barely pay for patient care, the government’s solution is more bureaucracy? Bill 41 is about increasing control for the government and decreasing freedom for everyone else. It gives the government the power to force a “health service provider (to) comply with every directive”.
It can keep the public out of meetings, and access any patient’s health records (previously illegal without your consent). People who have never cared for a patient will be setting medical standards.
The bill gives the health minister the power to do whatever he wants with health care as long as “the minister considers it to be in the public interest”, from closing your doctor’s office to controlling hospital boards, all of whom “shall comply”. The bill’s ambiguous language serves the dual purpose of not tripping any watchdog alarms and not setting any limit on the extent of government powers.
A bureaucrat could decide on an unrealistic target of 25 patients per hour, per doctor, but when no one is able to achieve this, then what Investigations can easily turn into witch hunts and make-work projects. Operating rooms could collect dust while your arthritic hip aches; you could wait eternally in the ER, wondering why there aren’t more doctors and nurses; your specialist appointment could be booked for 2019.
As in economics, central planning will result in Soviet-style health care outcomes. Ultimately, patients will pay the price. But at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing we are world leaders in health care bureaucrats. The Ontario government is not just reshuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.
It’s building a new ship with an iron throne, but with no engines or life rafts. The truth is the health ministry can no longer afford OHIP in its current form. But its latest “solution” will leave a blast radius that will take multiple future governments to clean up. In a system devoid of checks and balances, power-hungry autocrats will thrive. The government wants to pass Bill 41 in November. Public pressure alone stands in Health Minister Eric Hoskins’s way.
Given that the bill has passed second reading, the time to act is now. We must all realize that patients will never come first when doctors (and nurses) are put last."

Please SIGN THE PETITION to help us stop #STOPBill41 at: www.carenotcuts.ca/STOPBill41/


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