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Showing posts from March, 2014

Liberals support more private clinics - even as clinics turn on them

The Ontario government has gotten into another donnybrook with private clinics for a second time in less than a year.  

Over the summer, they got into a messy dispute with private physiotherapy clinics.

The government stopped 94 physiotherapy clinics from directly billing OHIP. Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews said that, over the years, licences to provide these services have been bought up by large corporations.  Moreover, she charged, the "existing 94 clinics have had an unlimited ability to bill the governmentand have become very creative in they way they bill."

The government claimed that an audit of 15,000 records from the clinics found that 58% of them failed to support OHIP billings.  Five-minute exercise classes were sometimes billed as physiotherapy,  care plans did not measure up, record keeping was incomplete, and  physician referrals were sometimes lacking.
“There is extraordinary growth in expenditures and the audit was one of those factors that just demonstrate…

Ontario Liberals fail to protect health care in trade deal with Europe

While the Harper Conservative government has pushed ahead with its Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, the Ontario Liberal government has failed to protect public health care.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) protection for public health care was initially supposed to be provided through the Annex II Social Services Reservations. Annex II protects social services “maintained for a public purpose”.
Unfortunately, the meaning of “public purpose” is disputed and the provision may not provide protection where there is private sector involvement in health care. 
To clarify that health services delivered as public services are excluded from NAFTA, the parties negotiated a general reservation in 1996. This addition to NAFTA's Annex I meant that services provided by provinces since 1994 would be excluded from NAFTA liberalization.
With CETA, however, general reservations like those seen in Annex I under NAFTA
for public services are no…