Concerns: Ending Privatization of Hospitals and How to Fund Social Services —

Privatization of hospitals through public-private partnerships (P3s) is a serious concern for people in Windsor and across the province. At the Windsor and Essex County All Candidates’ Meeting on Health Care on May 22, Laura Chesnik pointed out that P3s are not only a problem in the construction of new hospitals, but also in how they are used to bring in new arrangements including contracting out and private managers.

Laura called attention to how the overall aim of the parties that champion private interests for the health care at this time is how to use services within the system to hand over billions from the public treasury to private interests. “Take the issue of pharmacare and pharmaceuticals for example,” she said. “Both the Liberals and NDP have come out saying they will provide pharmacare to the population in Ontario. But what does this mean when these industries are not public and are used to make huge profits? Will they now be doing so from the public treasury?”

“Why isn’t the government taking on pharmacare as an industry for itself where research can be done in public universities and where the value created is put back into the services the people need?” Laura asked.

Going further into the issue of how public health care, education and other social services should be paid for, Laura pointed out that as things currently stand, “Those who benefit from the highly skilled, healthy, educated workforce we have in Ontario do not have any responsibilities to pay for that value. In fact, as a teacher, I know that we’re constantly looked at as a cost to be decreased, and the value that’s generated when people can read, for example, is dismissed. Government should be finding ways to recoup the massive value created by this work so that it can be invested back into social programs so they can be sustained, broadened and improved, instead of cut back and then put under even greater control by private interests through privatization.