TORONTO, June 21, 2011 – The Ontario government is taking a bold and necessary step by announcing it intends to crack down on private, for-profit clinics that charge extra for preferential treatment for certain health services.
“This is something nurses have been asking the government to act on and the steps taken today demonstrate Minister (Deb) Matthews’ commitment to making sure the system is fair and equitable,” says David McNeil, president of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).
McNeil says the government is acting on an issue the nurses’ association, the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) and Doctors for Medicare raised publicly in the fall of 2008 when an OHC report revealed dozens of violations of the Canada Health Act including 11 in Ontario, ranging from the sale of medically necessary services to queue jumping.
RNAO says today’s move is especially timely because it comes on the heels of a poll released last month by Nanos Research, which shows health care is the number one issue on the minds of Ontario voters. “We know people value and rely on our publicly funded, not-for profit health-care system and they expect political leaders to defend it and strengthen it. The promise to clamp down on these illegal and unfair practices means the Ontario government is living up to its promise of safeguarding Medicare,” says Doris Grinspun, executive director of RNAO.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.