Ontario's health care spending not out of control, CCPA study reveals

April 24, 2001

TORONTO -- Despite claims by the Harris government to the contrary, health care spending is not out of control in Ontario, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The study reveals that health spending has not kept up with inflation or a growing population, during the six years of Harris government rule.

Instead, after years of cutbacks, Ontario now has a $4 billion health care deficit, according to the study, prepared as part of the Ontario Alternative Budget project by Bill Murnighan, a researcher with the Canadian Auto Workers.

"It's fundamentally dishonest for the Harris to claim health spending is unsustainable," said Murnighan. "He is simply trying to open the door for further privatization. The facts show we can easily afford a quality public health care system."

The study outlines the massive costs of the Harris government's mismanagement of the health care system. It includes a review of the impact of aging on the health system and also uncovers evidence of the massive sums of money spent on severance packages and termination pay to help shed 25,000 health care workers in Ontario.

Private spending continues to soar and the study highlights how the Harris government intends to change its health care message to pave the way for more privatization and a two-tier system.