Unifor held a telephone town hall for members across Ontario to discuss Bill 74, The People’s Health Care Act, and its potential impact to patients, communities and health care workers across the province.
“Bill 74 does not improve patient services, reduce hospital wait times or increase frontline health care workers to respond to current and future needs,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director. “The legislation would open the door to allow for-profit corporations to provide health care services to Ontarians. Moving health care services to the private sector has resulted, time and again, in unequal access based on what patients can afford to pay.”
The telephone town hall was hosted by Roxanne Dubois, Director of Strategic Planning and Development. In addition to Rizvi’s remarks on the union’s Ford Fightback campaign, Unifor Lawyer Farah Baloo provided an overview of Bill 74 and Katha Fortier, Assistant to National President, and Andy Savela, Health Care Director, discussed the potential impacts Bill 74 would have on health care workers.
“Doug Ford’s PC Government has made it clear that improving public, high-quality and accessible health care is not part of their government agenda and we need to fight back,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President. “Health care is an issue that affects every single one of us and without a system that protects equal access and fair working conditions, the profit motive will overtake the motive to provide quality care.”
As the Ontario Government prepares to host public consultations April 1 and 2, Unifor’s telephone town hall provided members with an opportunity to engage, understand and provide feedback on Bill 74 and the union’s Ford Fightback campaign.
If passed, Bill 74 will create an overreaching Ontario Health ‘Super Agency’ that opens the door to the privatization of our health care system. This agency will be responsible for managing health care services and the widespread restructuring of the system that includes hospitals, long-term care, home care, community care, mental health, health clinics and more.
To make matters worse, an un-elected, government-appointed Board of Directors would have oversight and control of the Super Agency, deprived of the transparency and accountability measures typically required in the public service.
Urgent action is needed to prevent a profit-driven model of health care that decreases access to quality health care for patients and makes the working conditions of health care workers worse. Members are encouraged to email, call and tweet their local Members of Provincial Parliament letting them know they oppose Bill 74.