Singh says cabinet retreat disappoints Canadians who feel abandoned on health care « Canada’s NDP

January 25, 2023 at 4:00 am  Federal, Politics

NDP supports Feb. 7 premiers meeting, worried for-profit health care is still on the docket

NANAIMO — Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s NDP, said Canadians are disappointed and worried that the Liberal cabinet retreat did not result in Justin Trudeau and his cabinet reversing course on their support for Conservative privatization-for-profit schemes in health care.

The prime minister announced he’ll meet with premiers on Feb. 7, but failed to assure Canadians that the privatization of their public health-care system won’t happen on his watch.

“The way to make sure our families get the best care possible, as fast as possible, is to invest in rebuilding and growing Canada’s universal public health care,” said Singh.

“It’s good that the premiers and prime minister will meet in February — that’s something the NDP was pushing for, and it’s the right thing to do because both levels of government have a role to play. But I join millions of Canadians who are incredibly disappointed and worried that the prime minister’s cabinet retreat ended with the Liberals standing in support of Conservative premiers‘ American-style, for-profit health care schemes.”

Experts say for-profit facilities will poach doctors and nurses — cannibalizing ERs and ORs, making waits longer.

“If a funding agreement with the provinces does not permanently add thousands and thousands more nurses, doctors and other health care workers, it will fail Canadians. The only thing that will solve the health care crisis is more health care workers,” said Singh.

Singh will join NDP MP Lisa Marie Barron (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) for a round table with health care workers and experts Wednesday in Nanaimo.

“With privatization, emergency room and surgery wait times only get longer as private clinics poach nurses and doctors from the public system,” said Barron. “British Columbia has been making major investments in building up the public, universal health care system, and they need a partner in Ottawa — not a federal government that undermines their efforts.”

The Ontario Nurses Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario are among the organizations and experts that oppose Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s decision to have corporations operate health care services for profit. Alberta and Manitoba’s Conservative premiers are making similar privatize-for-profit moves.

“Canadians know the devastating conditions their loved ones have faced in for-profit long-term care homes. They don’t want bottom-line profits being a factor in surgical clinics, too,” said Singh. “When I’m prime minister, I’ll work with the provinces to help train, recruit and license more doctors, more nurses and more care aides, and you can trust that I’ll build up and expand the public universal health-care system Canadians are rightly proud of.”

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