Local Press Releases

The Future of Health Care in Ontario

August 20, 2012

Ontario’s health care professionals play a vital role in our society, providing essential care when we need it most. Just a few months ago when my newborn son required medical attention, my family had an excellent pediatrician who helped us through a very difficult time.

We all expect our health care system to be there for us in times of need. But the level of care we’ve become accustomed to could soon begin changing.

I’ve recently received numerous letters and phone calls from residents and doctors, telling me how the quality of health care in Ontario could begin to suffer as the Liberal government continues to cut back health care funding in an attempt to make up for nine years of their financial mismanagement.

But it never had to come to this. You and I both know we can’t spend money we don’t have forever. And we know the longer we take to settle our debts, the more money we divert away from real priorities for our families.

Incredibly, it’s taken the Liberals nine long years to learn this simple concept. And now, unfortunately, the damage has already been done.

Ontario is so indebted that we spend more money on interest than we do on universities, colleges and training.

The PC Party has offered many solutions to solve Ontario’s debt crisis. Just in May, we tabled a bill, calling for an across-the-board public-sector wage freeze to save Ontario $2 billion. What did the Liberals do? They voted against it.

Now, the Liberals have their sights set on funding provided to doctors.

In Ontario, 95% of doctors bill OHIP for each service performed in what is known as a “fee-for-service billing system.” With 8,000 different fees codes, the government normally negotiates any changes to the fee schedule with the Ontario Medical Association. However, in May, Health Minister Deb Mathews circumvented the process by announcing nearly $340 million in cuts.

We all know Ontario is in a dire financial situation. Still, the Liberals should at least engage health care professionals to discuss how to find efficiencies in the system without compromising patient care, instead of surprising doctors with hefty health care cuts.

Now, I don’t have all the answers. That’s why I’d like to hear from you.

So please join me and MPP Christine Elliott, PC Health Critic, for a town hall meeting that I am hosting with the Ontario Medical Association at the Country Hills Community Centre at 100 Rittenhouse Rd. in Kitchener, Ont. to discuss “The Future of Health Care in Ontario” on Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

To confirm your attendance, please call my office at 519.954.8679 or email me at Michael.Harris@pc.ola.org.

(Article appeared in the Aug. 16 issue of the Elmira Independent)