February 15th, 2023
Under the Liberal government, health care workers are being poached right now by cash-for-care corps
NDP raises family doc cash-for-care operation, calls for Trudeau to act
OTTAWA – Nurses, surgeons and other frontline health care workers are being poached to work for American-style cash-for-care corporations — charging nearly $30,000 for surgery, or $70 for a doctor’s appointment. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh wants the prime minister to put a stop to it before hospitals and the roster of public family doctors in Canada become even more decimated.
Former Health Minister Jane Philpott called the surgery billing a clear contravention of the Canada Health Act after a CBC News report revealed for-profit surgical clinics opening across the country. Now Singh says the NDP is also concerned about a growing number of cash-for-care family doctors including Maple, owned by Loblaw. Charging patients cash, Maple is further decimating the roster of public primary care doctors, making it even harder for people to find a free family doctor.
“Everyone should get care as soon as they need it — not just when they can afford it,” said Singh. “But family doctors, nurse practitioners, surgeons and nurses are already being poached by a growing cash-for-care industry in Canada. It’s making the long, painful waits for surgery and primary care even worse.
“Justin Trudeau campaigned against for-profit health care, and promised to rebuild the public system. But he said one thing, and did the opposite. He flip-flopped. Now he’s calling for-profit care ‘innovation’ and he’s looking the other way while two-tier health care is bleeding health care workers from the system. He needs to stop health-care-worker poaching now, before Canadians’ wait times get any more painful and dangerous.”
Singh said Trudeau has the power to make it stop, by clarifying, enforcing and closing loopholes in the Canada Health Act.
“Justin Trudeau and I have very different visions of health care,” said Singh. “I believe the way to cut wait times and deliver world-class care is to rebuild and expand the public, free, universal health care system — starting by recruiting, retaining and respecting thousands of health care workers.”