4/12/11

Ontario Medical Association calls for privatization of surgeries and diagnostic tests

In a recent policy document the Ontario Medical Association called for more surgeries and diagnostic procedures to be moved to "Independent Health Facilities".  The OMA adds: "Further compounding the workloads in hospitals is the current provision of  most surgeries and diagnostic testing on-site. While this may have worked well for patients in the past, the reality is that patients are often waiting longer for relatively simple procedures that could be provided outside the hospital setting."


This means taking work out of  public hospitals and putting it into private clinics, likely for-profit.  One might ask, who will take that profit? One might also ask how this is going to help health care integration?  It sounds more like dis-integration. 


Here is the Ontario Health Coalition's comment on this aspect of OMA  policy:


"OMA's proposal to expand the number of 'Independent Health Facilities' is gravely problematic. While we understand the drive to improve access to operating room time and appropriate diagnostics, private clinics would worsen staffing shortages in local public hospitals and would bring in two-tier, for-profit health care. Obviously, a few greedy physicians might benefit. But neither is in the interest of the profession as a whole, nor is it in the public interest to bring in for-profit surgical centres and diagnostic clinics. We strongly encourage the OMA look at the international evidence and revisit this proposal."


dallan@cupe.ca

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