The President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions says there’s danger associated when hospitals begin privatizing medical-related services.
Michael Hurley says the Super Health Agency the Ford government is considering will have “explicit powers” to privative clinical or support health care services in any health area under its jurisdiction.
He says this should worry people.
Hurley says if they need proof in terms of why the public should support a publicly paid service as opposed to profit-driven private services, he says to consider the death rate where dialysis treatment takes place.
Hurley says the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that the date rate was two percent higher for people who had private dialysis treatment compared to those who received their treatment through a public institution.
“The reason the death rates were higher is that the people who own the private dialysis clinics watered-down the blood-cleaning products to maximize profit-taking,” Hurley said.
“That’s the Canadian Medical Association Journal. I’m not making that up.”
Hurley says there are many examples of why allowing private enterprise into the health care sector doesn’t work.
He says recently contracts have had to be broken with providers who sterilize surgical equipment “because instruments are coming back from the private providers with bone fragments and blood baked on them”.
Hurley says the labour sector has wide-spread experiences when it comes to contracting out cleaning services in hospitals.
He says a number of years ago British Columbia went down this road and noticed a “40 percent spike in the rate of hospital-acquired infections”.
Hurley explained why this happened.
“The cleaners were only given one pail of disinfectant, one pair of gloves and one rag to use throughout their workday regardless of what surfaces they were scouring,” he said.
“As a result, they were simply transferring viruses. So there’s a lot of evidence about the dangers of privatization. The fact is privatization in health care is a very lucrative opportunity for many giant multi-national corporations in laboratories, long-term care and other sectors. And they are procuring themselves to take advantage of a very receptive government which wants to open these services.”