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Auditor General’s report identifies symptoms, but misses privatization as cause of health care’s ‘profound problems,’ says CUPE Ontario President

TORONTO—Yesterday’s report by Provincial Auditor General Jim McCarter confirms “profound problems” facing hospital, long-term care (LTC) and home care patients in Ontario, the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario said.

CUPE members—who provide front line health care services in hospitals, long-term care (LTC) facilities and in homecare supports—have long identified problems of capacity, wait lists and uneven levels of care across the Province,” said Fred Hahn.

The problems identified yesterday—overcrowding, inadequate and uneven resourcing across the province, wait lists—are connected. They are not themselves causes but symptoms. Those symptoms have been greatly aggravated by the so-called ‘medicine’ of privatization successive Tory and Liberal governments prescribed as a cure-all. This is medicine that sickens the entire health care system, and all of us,” he added.

Hahn urged the Auditor General to look more closely at the impact of privatization on Ontario’s health care system.

Ontarians would benefit from a focused review by the Auditor General of the impact of waste and inefficiency that privatization and contracting out have had on the health care sector as a whole,” said Hahn.

The solution here does not lie in repeating the failed experiments unleashed in the 1990s. All levels of health care in Ontario need to be universal, comprehensive, accessible and provided by not-for-profit organizations, rather than corporations that siphon billions of dollars from the healthcare system to make profits for corporations, rather than improving patient care in hospitals, seniors care and care in homes,” he added.

For more information, please contact:

Fred Hahn
President, CUPE Ontario

Kevin Wilson
CUPE Communications