Healthcare underfunding persists says Grey Bruce Labour Council

To the Editor:

Generated primarily by the despicable policies and legislative agenda of the Mike Harris Tories, but little abated by any Ontario government since, the arc of privatization and the discredited ideal of “trickle down economics” continues to strike the most vulnerable in society.

For-profit healthcare in any manner, Long-Term/Primary/Assisted Retirement Living to name a few, has amply demonstrated that for-profit healthcare is not only bad for the consumers, it is a psychotic killer without remorse or conscience. We need look no further than the heartbreaking loss of life in for-profit long-term care in the months of the pandemic and the stress cracks in primary public healthcare exacerbated by government underfunding and its immediate cousin, insufficient staff, and the cruel and abhorrent bills like Bill 124.

The arc of these repugnant policies is long, and the harm done by the policies is even longer. We need look no further than our own community. In the Harris years, we saw a direct attack on the hospitals across the Grey and Bruce region. Due to the concentrated efforts of many, the hospitals survived, but continue to be victimized by the same public underfunding that healthcare in general has experienced for four decades.

On the care for our seniors, we have a much more current example of what happens when the welfare of people is left to the private sector. Different than long-term care, but nonetheless a home where care and assistance is provided to our parents and grandparents, private capital in healthcare has reared its mercenary and merciless head as loved ones and employees are being ejected from Malcolm Place in Kincardine.

People with endless amounts of heart and conscience work in all aspects of healthcare, private, public or 3P. For them we must all be grateful. These very people are those that save our lives, relieve our pain and hold our hand when we breathe our last, when there is altogether insufficient resources. They also seek to find alternative homes for those that have been put on notice that their very home will no longer be there for them in a few short weeks.

Is this letter about the closing of Malcolm Place residence in Kincardine? It is, but only in that this long arc of privatization must be recognized for what it is. It is the tool of profit and, despite any attempt to colour privatization in the lies of efficiency and choice, privatization of any form of public healthcare, any public service for that matter, puts all but the most privileged at risk of being tossed aside in the name of profits.

The Grey Bruce Labour Council has been the voice of workers in our region since 1956.

Dave Trumble
VP, Bruce , Grey Bruce Labour Council