Media Release: Justin Trudeau sits idly by while Conservative premiers promote for-profit clinics

Justin Trudeau sits idly by while Conservative premiers promote for-profit clinics

NDP Health critic Don Davies issued the following statement:

July 25th, 2023

“On Monday, the media reported that the Marda Loop Medical Clinic in Calgary began requesting yearly payments from patients ranging from $2,200 to $4,800 after moving to a private membership-based health care model. This goes completely against the essence of Canada’s free, universal public health care. In fact, this private membership scheme is designed to create two-tiered access for patients who pay out of pocket to skip the line to receive care.

This isn’t just limited to Calgary—according to a 2022 Dalhousie University study, at least 83 clinics across six Canadian provinces use this for-profit model.

This increased reliance on for-profit clinics is due to Justin Trudeau’s failure to defend and rebuild our public health care system. Instead of leadership, we have a prime minister allowing Conservative premiers to starve a public service and use that as an excuse to hand it off to the private sector, so corporations, shareholders and CEOs make money on patients’ vulnerability.

This is wrong. Canadians need real leadership that will defend and enhance our public services—not allow provinces to treat health care like a subscription to Netflix. Canadians deserve the care they need, when they need it, with their health card, and never their credit card.

The federal government could fix this by funding more health care workers in public hospitals and clinics. They could make transfer payments conditional on public delivery. And they could vigorously strengthen and enforce the Canada Health Act.

Instead, we have a prime minister who welcomed Doug Ford’s scheme for American-style, for-profit services — which would increase costs, lengthen wait times and poach doctors and nurses from our already under-resourced system — calling it ‘innovative.’

New Democrats are calling on the Liberals to stop for-profit care from eating up Canadians’ public, universal health care and rebuild this essential service so no one has to pay out of pocket to receive the care they need.”

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