Singh’s NDP calls for emergency debate on health care privatization-for-profit « Canada’s NDP
OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s NDP, will call on the House of Commons Monday to hold an emergency debate on privatizing health care.
“New Democrats envision a health care system that’s always ready when and where you need it. Where people get through ER waiting rooms and surgical wait lists quickly because there’s always enough staff to care for you,” said Singh. “But that’s not what privatization will do. Health care is already dramatically understaffed, and for-profit facilities will poach doctors and nurses — cannibalizing hospitals, forcing people to wait longer in pain and wracked with anxiety.
“We expect a privatization-for-profit playbook from Conservatives. But we did not expect Justin Trudeau and the Liberals to prop up the privatization plans of Doug Ford and Danielle Smith, putting Canadian public medicare at risk. This is a big shift in the way health care is delivered in Canada, and the New Democrats have dramatically different views on it than the Conservatives and Liberals. This watershed moment in Canadian health care deserves debate and scrutiny.”
Singh’s move follows announcements that Conservative governments in Ontario and Alberta will move some surgeries out of hospitals and over to for-profit corporations, and those two provinces plus Manitoba have indicated they’re planning further privatization of the health care system. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called that “innovation.”
In addition to the staff poaching concern Singh and the NDP have laid out, they’ve also raised serious concerns about lower quality in for-profit facilities, as has been documented in for-profit long-term care; and hefty bills, even for surgeries covered by the province. Ontario’s auditor general reported that it is typical in for-profit surgical clinics to upsell patients for brands or services not covered by the province, and tack on extra fees and charges.
Singh will request the emergency debate at approximately 3:30 p.m. Monday. If the request is granted, the debate could go ahead as early as 6:30 p.m. on Monday