Harris seeks residents’ feedback on Liberals’ cuts to health careAugust 24, 2012
KITCHENER — Nine years of reckless spending by the Liberal government has thrust the province into a financial crisis that threatens the quality of health care Ontarians have come to rely on and expect, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.
“We all know that Ontario is in a dire financial situation that requires urgent action,” Harris said, “but we need to work together to find a solution. That’s why discussions like yesterday night’s are so important.”
Harris and the Ontario Medical Association held a town hall event in Kitchener with PC Health Critic Christine Elliott to discuss the Liberal government’s recent cuts to health care funding.
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, in a hapless attempt to make up for nearly a decade of financial scandals and mismanagement.
“It’s nice to see the Liberals have finally realized they have a spending addiction, but the treatment for this problem shouldn’t unfairly target doctors. We need to engage health care professionals to discuss how to find efficiencies in the system without compromising patient care,” Harris said.
“Unfortunately, the Liberals would rather pick a fight with doctors and squander billions of dollars on Ornge, eHealth and cancelled gas plants than make the strategic investments needed to improve frontline health care in Ontario.”