Listen Live
Listen Live
HomeNewsProvince introduces plan to reduce surgery wait times

Province introduces plan to reduce surgery wait times

It could be good news if you are waiting for cataract surgery.  

The Ontario government has announced a three-step plan to reduce surgery wait times.  

The largest part of the plan will see about 25 percent of cataract surgeries done in community surgical and diagnostic centres.  

The province says it will also expand MRI and CT scans to private clinics later this year.  

- Advertisement -

In February, the Ford government will introduce legislation that, if passed, will allow the clinics to perform hip and knee replacement surgeries.  

MPP Vic Fedeli was asked if this is the beginning of private healthcare. 

“No, they sort of mix the two,” he says. “This will always be public healthcare in Ontario.  You use your OHIP card, not your credit card.” 

Fedeli says nothing has changed with healthcare remaining universal, or free in Ontario. 

“This is an expansion of using private organizations like the Shouldice Clinic which has been around since my grandmother went there,” Fedeli says. “It’s nothing unusual, nothing new. It’s not the first time we’ve done this. [We’re] not the first government to do this.” 

Five healthcare unions are calling on the Ford government to reverse its plan to allow private clinics perform some surgeries and diagnostic imaging.  

The healthcare unions say the plan will cost Ontarians dearly and damage access to public healthcare.   

The unions say the plan will increase wait times and patients should not be misled into believing they won’t pay out of pocket. 

“The Ford government is planning to privatize our public hospital surgeries and many other public services we have,” says Henri Giroux with the North Bay and District Health Coalition.”We don’t need this to happen what needs to happen is fund our public hospital properly.”

He says the Coalition will be holding a forum in the near future to combat the provincial move. 

**With files from Wendy Gray

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading