The Ontario government is moving forward with legislation, allowing for private health clinics to help reduce the backlog of medical procedures.
Entitled ‘The Your Health Act,’ it outlines the province’s next steps to reduce wait times for surgeries, procedures and diagnostic imaging.
“Ontario is boldly breaking with a status quo that has stifled innovation and struggled to respond to growing challenges and changing needs,” says Health Minister Sylvia Jones. “Instead, our government is being bold, innovative and creative. We’re making it easier and faster for people to connect to convenient care closer to home, including and especially the surgeries they need to maintain a high quality of life.”
Jones insists patients will be protected.
“While we have a complaint system in the Ministry of Health right now, we are adding an additional oversight, and that ensures that individuals who believe that they have been improperly served or had an issue with a community surgical center will have the option to bring forward that complaint or concern to the patient Ombudsman, something that is not available today.”
Clinics will also be required to post their fee schedule on-site and online.
They will be prohibited from refusing service to anyone who doesn’t choose to purchase upgrades.
Additional fees can not be charged to jump the queue either.
“These changes will be consistent with the Canada Health Act. And again, we need to be clear. Ontarians will continue to pay with their OHIP card, never their credit card. Under Premier Ford, that will never change,” says Jones.
The proposed legislation also includes measures that allow medical professionals from other provinces to work in Ontario without first registering with the province’s health regulatory colleges.