Elderly need more long-term care supports: Ontario Health Coalition

Elderly need more long-term care supports: Ontario Health Coalition

In a release, the NDP say they obtained internal government documents including a draft of legislation that lays out Ford's plan to create a new "super agency health bureaucracy", with a specific mandate to privatize health services such as hospitals.

Within hours of the NDP's press conference the government had roundly denied Horwath's accusations.

Ms. Elliott said Friday that it is important to find out how the bill leaked.

"If there was any doubt that this government is committed to massive privatization in health care, that doubt vanishes with this bill", Horwath said.

'Health-care privatization in our province is a non-starter.

"What I'm here to say is that the future of health care is community based", he said.

Elliott said there would be no new private hospitals, and the government is not looking at consolidating hospitals. Because, it would allow for a private company to bid on a contract to deliver the health services. Ontario already has many privately run facilities, such as labs and diagnostic-imaging centres.

While dismissing Horwath's claims, Elliott said the NDP has been "crying wolf" about health-care privatization for years, including under the previous Liberal government.

Health Minister Christine Elliott confirmed the bill is authentic but stressed that it's an early draft and more consultations are coming. "What we need is a plan for better publicly funded health care", said Buckley.

"No two tier, no", Elliott told The Canadian Press on Friday. "I think it's really very misleading for her to have made the comments that she did with respect to a draft that has not been finalized".

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Dominic Giroux, the president and CEO of Health Sciences North, says there's no doubt there is a need for more long-term care spaces across the province.

Elliott would still not rule out further private delivery of services within the public system - which now exists, such as companies that do diagnostic testing - but said that wasn't the focus of the health-care transformation.

The bill is called the Health System Efficiency Act. It says that "Super Agency" is a placeholder name, and the exact title for the agency has yet to decided.

The draft bill would allow the government to transfer the responsibilities of organizations including any local health integration network, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario and the Trillium Gift of Life Network to a super agency.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot in the Queens Park Legislature in Toronto, on October 30, 2018.

It acknowledges that Ontario has the lowest per capital spending on health care compared to other provinces and territories, but adds: "The system could work smarter and use this same amount of money to achieve better health outcomes".

On any given day, at least 1,000 people are being treated in Ontario hospital hallways, according to the special adviser on health care, who says "tough decisions" will be required to fix the problem.

Eliminating hallway health care will require dealing with other areas where people get treatment, which could prevent some of the admissions to hospital, Devlin said. The Ford government promised to end the hospital overcrowding that leads to patients being treated in hallways, storage rooms and waiting rooms during the last election.

What the Devlin report clearly shows - there will be a follow-up report in the spring recommending reforms - is that the status quo in health care is not an option. "However, there are also many barriers that make the system hard to navigate for patients and providers", said Special Advisor and Chair of the Council Dr. Rueben Devlin.

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