NDP calls for urgent debate in House of Commons on private health care

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OTTAWA — National leader of the New Democrats Jagmeet Singh says he will ask the House of Commons to hold an urgent debate on the privatization of health care.

This is the leader’s top priority as MPs return home on Monday after a holiday break.

Singh spent part of that time hosting British Columbia health care roundtables to talk about emergency room overcrowding and staff shortages.

Singh says the health care system is already understaffed and believes for-profit organizations will hire doctors and nurses from hospitals.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government announced earlier this month that it is moving some procedures to publicly funded private facilities to accommodate a growing surgery waiting list that has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan have already taken similar steps.

“Healthcare is already dramatically understaffed, and for-profit entities will pick up doctors and nurses – cannibalizing hospitals, forcing people to wait more painfully and anxiety,” Singh said in a statement to The Canadian Press.

The NDP says they are also concerned that private facilities are upselling patients for brands and services not covered by the province and asking for additional fees and services.

On Saturday, German Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said that his Liberal government will ensure that people do not use their credit cards for health services and that the care of -health in general remains public.

If Singh’s request for an urgent debate is granted, it could take place as early as Monday evening.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 30, 2023.

The Canadian Press


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