NDP says Ford government plans to privatize health care in Ontario

Ontario health-care system 'too complicated to navigate'

NDP say a leaked draft bill shows the Ford government readying for private health care

"The way the system operates now is a mixture...but what we want to do is make sure that as we develop our transformational strategy we are looking at strengthening the public part of the system".

"Tough decisions will be required to address the challenges facing our health-care system, while we continue to champion the health-care professionals already leading great work in our communities", Devlin writes in the report.

Ms. Elliott did not rule out further expanding private delivery of health care within the public system.

Still, Ms. Elliott refused to comment on the details of an 81-page draft bill called the Health System Efficiency Act, which outlines the tentative plans for a new "super agency" to manage health-care services.

The Canadian Press has not verified the draft bill the NDP received.

The draft bill would allow the government to transfer the responsibilities of organizations including any local health integration network, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario and the Trillium Gift of Life Network to a super agency.

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The report states that stress on caregivers and health-care providers is a "troubling indicator" that the health-care system is not working as it should.

A spokeswoman for Elliott says she has signed an extension to allow existing sites to continue operating until March 31 while the ministry reviews applications.

"She got pretty much everything wrong", Elliott said. "What was seen was a draft".

"Stronger lines of accountability would help make the health-care system more efficient and also help ensure Ontario gets a greater value for what it now spends on health care".

About 1,000 patients waited for a hospital bed in an "unconventional space or emergency department stretcher" on an average day in Ontario past year, Premier Doug Ford's top health-care adviser said in a report released Thursday.

The report by adviser Dr. Rueben Devlin and the premier's council on improving health care touched on the current 21 health-related government agencies that support the design and delivery of health care in the province. "However, these agencies are not always well aligned and there is limited strategic oversight to ensure the efficient and co-ordinated use of resources".

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The Council will now begin developing advice for the government on how to fix the problem of hallway health care.

Eliminating hallway health care will require dealing with other areas where people get treatment, which could prevent some of the admissions to hospital, Devlin said. "This will keep us accountable and help us reach our goal of improving healthcare in Ontario and ending hallway medicine", said Dr. Devlin.

"Having more capacity in the community, whether in long-term care, palliative care, home and community care definitely helps with patient flow in the hospital".

On an average day in 2018, there were approximately 1,000 patients waiting for a hospital bed in an unconventional space or emergency department stretcher. There are now 72 long-term care beds per 1,000 people aged 75 or older in the province, a number that is projected to decline to 29 beds per 1,000 people over 75 by 2041 - a decline of 60 per cent or the equivalent of 48,000 bed closures "if nothing is done", says the report.

In October, nearly 16 per cent of days spent in hospital were by patients waiting for care elsewhere.

Executive director, Natalie Mehra, says they were shocked when they compared homicide rates in long-term care homes, from province to province.

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The report makes several suggestions, including stating that increasing the number of beds in Ontario hospitals won't solve the problem of hospital overcrowding.

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