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  • Writer's pictureOntario Health Coalition

New report analyzes Ford government’s privatization of surgeries and diagnostic procedures

Updated: Mar 3

Media conference details impacts for Ontarians

October 31, 2023 12:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time

TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Drawing on new data from Freedom of Information requests, financial and statistical analysis, and research, a new report raises red flags about the Ford government’s privatization of our public hospitals’ core services including diagnostics and surgeries. The report, At What Cost? Ontario hospital privatization and the threat to public health care published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives lays out a cogent analysis of the negative impact of the Ford government’s plans on Ontario’s public hospitals and patients. It makes startling revelations such as the massive difference in stated government expenditures on private clinics versus the actual spending.

The report rebuts the government’s rationale for privatization by showing that sufficient funding for public hospitals can significantly improve surgical backlogs.

In Toronto and communities across the province, for example, local public hospital operating rooms are sitting idle much of the time while, as the report reveals, the Ford government has dramatically increased funding to for-profit clinics and hospitals. At the same time, public hospitals are facing real dollar cuts. As the CCPA notes, this policy direction is attracting attention of Canadian and American for-profit corporations.

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) and the Ontario Health Coalition are joining report author Andrew Longhurst in a media conference to release the report’s findings and detail the impact of this policy change for Hamilton’s hospitals. The speakers will also present recommendations to address surgical backlog and improve access to hospital services.

When: Thursday, November 2, 9:30 a.m.

Where: Queen's Park Media Studio, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park


Andrew Longhurst, B.A. (Hons), M.A., political economist, PhD candidate, Simon Fraser University, research associate, B.C. Office, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and author of the new report. Previous publications include Failing to Deliver: The Alberta Surgical Initiative and Declining Surgical Capacity (Parkland Institute, 2023), The Concerning Rise of Corporate Medicine (2022), and he is co-author of Reducing Surgical Wait Times (2016).

Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, CUPE since 1990 representing 40,000 Ontario hospital employees. Under his leadership, OCHU/CUPE has published numerous research reports on Ontario’s hospitals including, recently, Ontario’s Hospital Crisis: No Capacity, No Plan, No End (2023). Hurley has also co-authored multiple studies on health care workers including Sacrificed: Ontario health care workers in the time of COVID-19.

Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition, representing 400 member organizations and 750,000 Ontarians and more than 50 local chapters. She is the author of numerous reports on health policy including Private Clinics and the Threat to Public Medicare in Canada: Results of Surveys with Private Clinics and Patients (2017), and “Three Waves of Corporatization in Ontario’s Hospitals” in Corporatizing Canada: Making A Business out of Public Service (eds Jamie Brownlee et al. Between the Lines Press, May 2018).


Contacts For more information please contact: Salah Shadir, Ontario Health Coalition, 647-648-5706,


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