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Invest money in public services—not private enterprise

Publish date: Wednesday, January 18, 2023 presidentsMessage

Composite photo of Dave Bulmer and Queens Park

As many of you will have heard, on Monday, the Premier announced that the province would be expanding the number of medical procedures held at privately-run clinics in Ontario.

The government attempted to reassure Ontarians by saying that they we still be using our OHIP cards to access services, but it would be naïve not to be concerned that this three-stage, multi-year plan could be the first step toward the further privatization of Ontario health care, especially given this government’s predilection for private consultants.

The government claims this new measure is intended to address a surgical backlog caused by the pandemic—but the reality is that the money spent on providing health care through private clinics could just as easily be invested in the existing public health care system, where it would go much further.

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners have been ringing the alarm about the state of Ontario’s hospitals for years now.

The public servants on the ground who actually provide care to the people of Ontario have offered numerous suggestions on how to address these issues—from repealing wage-restraining legislation (Bill 124), to stronger public health measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, to guaranteeing paid sick days for all workers in Ontario.

The government has chosen to disregard these suggestions and is instead pumping public money into privately-run clinics, a move that puts taxpayer money in the hands of private businesses and threatens to further drain resources from already-strained public hospitals.

AMAPCEO stands with the five unions representing health care workers in Ontario in calling on the government to halt this ill-thought plan, and to instead invest in strengthening our existing public healthcare system.

It is a new year, and the government could choose to turn over a new leaf—to value and support public services and the valuable workers who provide them.

The Ontario Health Coalition advocates to protect public health care for all. They’re calling on Ontarians to take the pledge to stop health care privatization on their website. As someone who has spent their career in emergency health services, I encourage you to join me in supporting their efforts.

Stronger together,

Dave Bulmer

President/CEO

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Health (Quality Unit); Public Health Ontario; the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).