Skip to main content

Liberals prevent public reporting of failed private clinics

Queen's Park in Darkness (Grant MacDonald)
Yesterday I fumed about the gall of one academic who claimed that privatized P3s (public private partnerships) had actually increased public transparency.

Even more evidence came today that privatization leads to a lack of transparency.  Not only is the Ontario government turning more surgeries and procedures over to private clinics, they have contracted out the oversight of these outfits to the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Today, the Toronto Star reports that the College of Physicians claims that legislation passed by the Liberals putting the College in charge of inspections of these clinics, also prevents the College from actually telling the public which clinics are providing sub-standard care!  "We are not allowed to discuss the failed premises" says the College president, Dr. Bob Byrick.  As a result, we do not even know where the clinics are located. It remains unclear if even the Ministry of Health & LTC is told which clinics are failing.

Of the 251 clinics inspected, nine clinics failed to pass the test outright and another 64 others passed only with conditions.  One hundred and seventy-eight passed.   In other words, 29% of private clinics are substandard in some way.  Now wouldn't you like to know which is which?

College of Physicians (Grant MacDonald)
The Star notes that the report doesn't say whether the failed clinics are still open, identify the doctors who work in them, or reveal if any of those doctors face disciplinary action.

Perhaps the only good news is that the College report claims that "If a premises receives an inspection grade of 'fail' members of the College are prevented  from performing the regulated procedures that could put the public at risk." Good to know -- but too narrow to be reassuring.

While some might feel the government has put the Colonel in charge of the hen house, even this miserable level of inspection and public reporting is an improvement. The College report brags that prior to 2010 "no organization in Ontario had the authority to regulate these out-of hospital premises."  Indeed, the College sees the inspections as a big achievement: “This program is a real success story for quality improvement and public protection in Ontario,”said Dr. Rocco Gerace, College Registrar.

The College does at least claim that it wants to increase transparency of the program "by facilitating information sharing with the public regarding the results of premises inspections. The College is currently exploring how this can be achieved." But what this might mean remains unclear.

The push for at least some oversight of private clinics began after a Krista Styland died after undergoing liposuction at a private clinic in 2007.

Popular posts from this blog

Deficit? Public spending ain't the cause. Revenue, however...

With the election over, pressure to cut public programs has become quite intense. In almost all of the corporate owned media someone is barking on about it.

Another option -- increasing revenue from corporations and the wealthy is not mentioned.  However, data clearly indicates that Ontario does not have an overspending problem compared to the other provinces.

Instead, it indicates Ontario has very low revenue. 
Ontario has the lowest public spending of all the provinces on a per capita basis (see the chart from the 2014 Ontario Budget below).  So there is little reason to suspect that we have an over-spending problem.  If anything, this suggests we have an under-spending problem.







The Ontario government has also now reported in the 2014 Budget that Ontario has the lowest revenue per capita of any province.  This is particularly notable as other provinces are quite a bit poorer than Ontario and therefore have a much more limited ability to pay for public spending.  (Also notable in this…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …