“More than 70 per cent of the people who provide health care in this province are women. It speaks volumes that 60 per cent of the board members overseeing their work are men," — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (12 March 2019) — By loading the board of his new health care super-agency with bankers, corporate bosses, and not a single frontline worker, Doug Ford is sending a clear signal that more health care privatization is on the horizon, says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE).
Privatization proponents front and centre on new mega-agency board
“Almost every single person on this board has spent their careers trying to maximize profits,” said Thomas. “And now, they’ve been given the sweetest patronage plum on the tree: a chance to squeeze profits out of Ontarians who need health care."
“I can’t say I’m surprised. But I’m disgusted," said Thomas.
Thomas points out that only 5 of the people on the 12-person board are women.
Thomas continued, “More than 70 per cent of the people who provide health care in this province are women. It speaks volumes that 60 per cent of the board members overseeing their work are men.”
Ontario government made changes without consulting frontline health care workers
Thomas said if the Premier was truly interested in improving health care in this province, he’d have started by consulting with the unions that represent front-line health care workers, and followed through by ensuring they had a meaningful voice in the system.
“I’ve always said that privatization is the ‘pay more, get less plan,’ and that’s exactly what we’re getting here,” said Thomas. “More fees, more costs, and more cuts, with less accountability, less local control, and less care.”
Thomas warns Ford’s backbench MPPs that they’ll pay the price for these changes during the next election.
“Ford is making exactly the same mistake with health care that he’s making with autism services,” said Thomas. “They’ll focus on reducing the wait-list and ‘increasing efficiency’ by cutting back on the care that everybody receives. OPSEU/NUPGE’s not going to stand for it, and neither are the people of Ontario."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE