Privatization of health care on horizon
At first glance the planned health region amalgamation could lead to some financial savings, but I am left wondering as to the level of public input leading to this action. Overall, this may be an avenue for privatization of the health care in Saskatchewan without consultation or even announcement to the public.
Isolation of rural communities, lack of consultation and clear projection of downstream effects, all justified by unclear future savings are signature features of this reform. Critical questions were neglected: Will this amalgamation improve the quality of health care? Will these changes benefit patients in rural communities? How much will it cost to go from regionalization to one health region? What kind of savings are expected?
This amalgamations wipes with one stroke the local boards and health regions, many of which have worked so hard to build and equip their local hospitals. Co-operation of local communities with their health regions would be void and ownership of community built hospitals remains unclear. Improvements, like Saskatoon HR’s birth and breast feeding policies, could be reversed to older schemes taking us further away from the evidence-based, individual-focused approaches recognized by public health experts as the way forward.
Is Premier Wall’s government preparing to PRIVATIZE health care in Saskatchewan? The new health authority will be run by a board with members appointed by government, making it a Crown corporation. The recently passed privatization of Crown corporations’ law, sets the stage for provincial health care to be PRIVATIZED and follow Saskatchewan’s two-for-one MRI offering, again in total contravention of the Canada Health Act.
The new system will lead to inefficiencies and affect the quality of health care in Saskatchewan. The impact to society will be felt for years to come due to reversal of gains made over the decades. Steve Jimbo, Saskatoon